Another day, another round of gaming and tech event cancellations over growing fears of the spreading coronavirus.
Epic Games, which had already exited GDC even before that was canceled, has now canceled its own event, Unreal Fest Europe in Prague, which wasn’t set to launch until the very end of April. “Due to uncertainty around health concerns and travel, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event,” the company says.
Nvidia has turned GTC 2020 into an online-only affair. It’s still scheduled for March 22nd to 26th, but it won’t be at its physical location in San Jose, California.
Facebook has put an end to this year’s F8 conference, also in San Jose. It wasn’t slated until early May. The corportation says it aims to “prioritise the health and safety of [its] developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on.”
GamesFirst London 2020 has thrown in the towel because of the virus. “[W]e see no other responsible alternative,” organizers write. It was originally slated for April 1st.
Google’s I/O 2020 is also a no-go. “Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre,” Google told The Verge.
And finally, Riot Games was originally scheduled to run hands-on gameplay events for the newly announced Valorant shooter through March, but last night the studio announced it was canceling those to avoid “the health risks.” It sounds as if they’ll be back as online ventures.
VALORANT's goal is to bring the world together in the spirit of competition and creative play but in current circumstances, flying folks in to play under one roof isn't smart.
We're cancelling March's hands-on gameplay events – let's play without the health risks. Stay tuned.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) March 3, 2020
More on the impact of the virus on gaming: