Last Friday, organizers for the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) announced the cancellation of their 2020 event in San Francisco amid growing concerns over the coronavirus. Over the past few weeks, multiple companies including Sony, Microsoft, Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Kojima Productions, Amazon, and more announced that they would be withdrawing from the event due to safety concerns.
“After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March,” the event’s organizers said in a statement released on their website. “Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we’re genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time."
Organizers have promised in their statement that they intend to host a GDC event later in the summer and are working with their partners to finalize details over the coming weeks. Informa, the company that produces GDC, said that they intend to issue full refunds to everyone who had planned to attend and will be releasing information on how to do that via email soon.
GDC is not the only conference to suffer from cancellation due to reduced travel and outbreak concerns. The growing number of cases worldwide has prompted a massive selloff in financial markets amid fears of an economic slowdown. Tech conferences including the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Europe and Facebook's F8 Developer Conference in California have also canceled their events. The events industry is suffering as a result, and no one is quite sure if an end is in sight.