Today, after announcing it will be skipping E3 and PAX East this year, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that it will also be skipping GDC this year as well, citing the same reason it gave for PAX East: the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus. According to an official statement released by Sony, the decision was difficult to skip GDC, but the PlayStation makers felt it is the right choice given the threat of the coronavirus and how it's making global travel very difficult. Further, like it noted with the PAX East cancellation, the health and safety of the company's global workforce is paramount.
"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."
In addition to PlayStation, Facebook also announced it will be skipping the show this year as well, citing the coronavirus outbreak as well.
"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," said Facebook. "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."
Game Developers Conference is an annual conference for video game developers held in various locations. Unlike modern E3 or PAX, this is more for the industry. The event features an expo, networking events, and awards shows like GDC Choice Awards and Independent Games Festival. Further, there's a variety of panels, tutorials, lectures, and roundtables where developers share their expertise, perspectives, and insight with each other.
GDC is poised to go down March 16, and run to March 20.
H/T, Games Industry.