Coronavirus fears prompt GDC to reschedule to late summer


If it isn’t obvious already, just about nobody is messing around with the rapid global spread of the coronavirus. On top of multiple studios pulling out of PAX East this weekend and CCP’s move to shut down Fanfest this year, the Game Developers Conference just announced that it will be postponing its event until “later in the 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,” the organizers said. “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.”

GDC’s organizers said that they are “intending to make many of the presentations that would have been given at GDC 2020 available for free online.”

This announcement follows the withdrawal of several companies from the event, including Blizzard, Facebook, Sony, Microsoft, and Amazon. The conference was originally slated to run from March 16th through the 20th in San Francisco. Even though the virus hasn’t hit the city yet, San Francisco announced a state of emergency over the threat, with local businesses already seeing the impact.

More on the coronavirus’ impact on the gaming industry:

Source: GDC
IGDA is trying to help smaller devs and studios affected by the cancellation. Here’s the core of the statement from Renee Gittins, Executive Director, IGDA:

“With the effect of COVID-19 on conferences and international travel, many companies and developers have not only lost business opportunities and access to valuable talks, but their critical funds invested in travel, booth space, and passes to pursue these opportunities. In light of this, the IGDA would like to announce a partnership with GameDev.World to support both affected and all developers worldwide. The IGDA is partnering with GameDev.World’s online event and fundraiser to alleviate the financial burdens on developers affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. In addition to providing financial relief, this event will supply education opportunities via free talks about important game development subjects. Attendees across the globe will be able to hone their expertise and knowledge.”

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