The Game Developers Conference, which was set to take place March 16 to 20 in San Francisco, Calif. has been postponed by its organizers Informa due to concerns surrounding the global spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. The conference, which started in 1988, draws attendance from an international pool of developers, publishers, press, and more.
You can read the statement from the organizers of GDC in its entirety below.
"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.
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.
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.
For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page."
The news comes following several companies, including Sony, Microsoft, EA, and Activision-Blizzard, deciding to pull their attendance from GDC 2020 due to concerns surrounding the global spread of COVID-19. In addition, an email sent to those who purchased or otherwise acquired a badge to GDC 2020 says, "[all] current paid registrants will be receiving a full refund within 4-6 weeks." The FAQ page linked above says that those who booked hotel reservations inside the official GDC room block will not have any fees or penalties when they cancel their rooms.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirms to Game Informer that it is keeping on eye on the evolving situation with regards to E3, its annual June event in Los Angeles, Calif. You can see The ESA's statement provided to us in its entirety below.
"Everyone is watching the situation very closely. We will continue to be vigilant, as our first priority is the health, wellness and safety of all of our exhibitors and attendees. Given what we know at this time, we are moving ahead full speed with E3 2020 planning. Exhibit and registration sales are on track for an exciting show in June."
The annual Game Developers Conference brings together members of the video game industry for a week of panels, informative talks, demos, and networking. As of February 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports approximately 80,000 confirmed infections of the coronavirus COVID-19, with its risk assessment set at "High" on a global level.
Even prior to this news, the spread of COVID-19 has affected the games industry through other convention cancellations, delays of games, and reports of Nintendo Switch shortages.
[Image Source: GDC]