We brought you the recent news about the coronavirus leading to Sony’s cancellation of its PAX East showcase of The Last of Us Part 2. Now the company is announcing that it will be leaving this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) for much the same reason. Needless to say, this has led to some disappointment in the press.
In a statement, Sony wrote: “We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.”
And they’re not the only company skipping out on the event. Similar to Sony leaving GDC this year, Facebook and its Oculus won’t be there either.
“Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community, Facebook will not be attending this year’s Game Developer Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19. We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show through videos, online Q&As, and more, and will plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks,” Facebook told GamesIndustry.biz.
Running from March 16-20 in San Francisco, GDC is an annual industry gathering and typically the arena where a lot of new concepts in gaming are introduced and discussed. In addition to Facebook and Sony, many China-based companies will be missing out on this year’s event as well.
The organizers behind GDC plan for the event to go ahead and are going to implement precautionary measures to make it safe for attendees including “electrostatic sprayers in high traffic areas,” Gamespot reports.
What do you think? Is Sony leaving GDC due to the coronavirus overly cautious or does it make sense from a business perspective and otherwise? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below.