Electronic Arts pulls out of GDC over coronavirus concerns
Company places restrictions on all non-essential travel
Electronic Arts has cancelled plans to participate at Game Developers Conference 2020 due to concerns over the coronavirus.
PlayStation, Facebook and Kojima Productions have already pulled out of next month’s event in San Francisco, citing fears over the health of their employees.
“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,” EA said in a statement issued to GameSpot.
“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.”
The BioWare, DICE and Respawn parent company was scheduled to give several presentations at GDC 2020, including one entitled EA’s Studio Organization: Lessons Learned, featuring five speakers from the company.
Reacting to last week’s news that PlayStation and Facebook wouldn’t be attending the event, GDC reiterated that it intends to go ahead with this year’s conference. 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.”