GDC 2020 postponed over coronavirus fears: Details here
This year's Game Developers Conference, aka GDC 2020, has been postponed. The event was scheduled to kick off on March 16, but the organizers decided to put it on hold amid growing concerns over the international outbreak of coronavirus or the deadly COVID-19 disease. They now plan to host the show sometime "later in the summer." Here's all you need to know about it.
Game developers backing out of GDC
Over the last few weeks, a number of GDC developers and sponsors, who are known to mark a major presence at the game show, had pulled out of the event over coronavirus concerns. The list included some of the biggest players in the gaming industry - Microsoft, Unity, Epic, Amazon, Facebook, and Sony - they all stopped their employees from attending the highly-anticipated event.
Hopes to hold GDC event later in summer
Though the official statement from the organizers didn't cite coronavirus as the reason for the postponement, it is largely believed to be the case. They just stated that the difficult decision was taken "after close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world" and expressed full intent to host a GDC event later in the summer.
Ticket money will also be refunded
Informa, the exhibition company behind GDC, has also confirmed that the money of expo and conference tickets will be refunded to the attendees in full. However, at this stage, it is unclear if there is a way to transfer the purchased tickets to the summer event. The organizers say they will finalize the details and share more in the coming weeks.
Typically, GDC witnesses thousands of attendees
Even with enhanced sanitization/disinfection measures, hosting GDC would have been a major threat to public health and safety, as the show typically witnesses tens of thousands of attendees, including developers and journalists, from different parts of the world. The four-day conference includes an expo, networking events, roundtables, and award shows like the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival.
Coronavirus has already hit several big events
GDC is just the latest event that has been hit by coronavirus. Prior to this, the viral outbreak, which has affected over 80,000 people around the world and claimed nearly 2,900 lives, led to the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, Facebook's F8 conference, and the Geneva Motor Show 2020. Even Formula One and Formula E races were canceled due to the virus.