Both PlayStation and Facebook cancel GDC appearances
March event is latest to suffer from coronavirus concern
This year’s Game Developers Conference is the latest event to be affected due to concerns around the novel coronavirus COVID19.
Both Facebook and PlayStation said on Thursday that they would not be attending the San Francisco event in March due to concerns for the health of their employees.
Facebook told VGC network partner GamesIndustry.biz that it is still planning to make announcements at GDC around its Oculus business, but will now do so via video and online Q&As.
The company said it is removing its booth and advising all employees to refrain from travelling to the show.
In addition, Sony Interactive Entertainment said in a statement: “We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus).
“We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily.
“We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.”
On Thursday GDC again reiterated that it intends to go ahead with this year’s event. It will put extra measures in place to ensure visitor safety, it said.
“We believe that, based on the strict U.S. quarantine around coronavirus and a large number of enhanced on-site measures, we are able to execute a safe and successful event for our community,” it said. “Locally, the Department of Health for both the State of California and the City of San Francisco support the convening of public events. See their statements here: CDPH, SFDPH.
“We are also continuing to follow the latest CDC and WHO guidance, following in the footsteps of other large international events that are taking place successfully at the Moscone Center.”
Sony has already cancelled plans to attend PAX East in Boston next week due to concerns over coronavirus, while Facebook says the virus outbreak is behind stock shortages of its Oculus Quest VR headsets.