Electronic Arts will not attend the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus, the company announced this week. The cancellation comes just over a month away from when the GDC 2020 event is scheduled to begin with several members of EA currently listed on the schedule for multiple panels and discussions. EA is not the first to pull out of GDC 2020 and likely won't be the last as GDC and other events approach.
A statement from EA was shared with GameSpot to confirm its decision to pull out of GDC 2020. EA said it was following the coronavirus situation and has now opted to not only cancel its plans for GDC but also plans to limit its attendance at other events.
"Having closely followed the global situation with Coronavirus and with the recent escalation of cases in new regions, we have decided to take additional steps to protect the wellbeing of our employees including the restriction of all non-essential travel," EA said. "As a result we are also cancelling our official participation at GDC and limiting attendance to other events. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will adjust guidelines to our employees as we feel is appropriate."
It was not specified which other attends EA was referring to when the company said it would limit attendance outside of GDC 2020.
A quick look at the schedule for GDC 2020 shows multiple panels and discussions which were scheduled to include voices from EA as well as one event which was to be presented by the company.
EA isn't the only group to pull out of GDC 2020 before the big event. Sony also opted to skip the conference for the same reasons while saying it was disappointed in the decision but that it was necessary to look out for the workforce's health.
"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)," Sony said. "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."
GDC 2020 is scheduled to begin on March 16th and will run until March 20th in San Francisco.