This week’s Boston-based PAX East has already felt the effects of multiple companies, from Sony to Square Enix, backing out over coronavirus fears – whether that’s fears of employees catching it, inadvertently spreading it, or just being blamed for it. Now, GDC has fallen into attendees’ sights, as EA has withdrawn from the convention.
GIbiz reports that Sony, Kojima, and Facebook had already canceled their attendance at the San Francisco event in March, making EA the latest to do so.
“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,” the company says. “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.”
Neither con has been canceled so far, though as we’ve previously reported, Activision-Blizzard has been proactive about canceling Overwatch League events in China. Most recently, it’s canceled its South Korean events, citing the outbreak there.
The latest stats on the coronavirus – more accurately known as COVID-19 – suggest there have been 80,000 cases globally and around 3000 deaths. There are just over 50 confirmed cases in the US.