Following a slew of companies announcing they would not be attending, GDC 2020 has been cancelled over concerns about the coronavirus outbreak and how the event could serve as an opportunity for the virus to spread. According to the conference's official website, the difficult decision comes after consulting with its partners in the industry. That said, while the show is cancelled for now, officials and organizers hope to host a GDC event sometime this summer.
"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," reads an official statement. "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."
The statement continues:
"We want to thank all our customers and partners for their support, open discussions and encouragement. As everyone has been reminding us, great things happen when the community comes together and connects at GDC. For this reason, we fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks."
Important GDC 2020 Update https://t.co/EoReMGtZJJ— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) February 29, 2020
As you may know, GDC 2020 was scheduled to go down on March 16, and run to March 2020. Unlike E3 or PAX, GDC is strictly a show for the industry. Further, it's an opportunity to do business as the entire industry ascends on one location. In other words, it's a vital part of the industry, and it's hard to imagine the short and long-term effects its cancellation will have.
Additional info: pic.twitter.com/GgUTL0dUc3— Official_GDC (@Official_GDC) February 29, 2020
At the moment of publishing, GDC is planning to host an event sometime this summer, but for now, no further details on this delayed event have been announced. However, GDC does note this should change in the coming weeks, though it remains to be seen if companies will change their stance on attending if they don't know the future of the coronavirus, which seems to be rapidly spreading.