The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) scheduled for next month in San Francisco has been canceled after multiple companies said they were sitting it out over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. However, GDC organizers said they planned to hold an event later this summer.
GDC was set to run March 16-20 at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. In the past few weeks, multiple companies including Microsoft, Sony, Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Amazon, Kojima Productions and Unity Technologies announced they will skip the event, citing safety concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 event’s organizers said in a statement Friday. “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.”
The GDC organizers said that they “fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer,” promising more information about those plans in the coming weeks. For now, Informa, the company that produces GDC, said those who registered for the event will receive an email about “any next steps regarding refunds, which conference and expo attendees will be receiving in full.” Last year, the event drew more than 29,000 people, according to the company.
The growing number of coronavirus cases worldwide, minimal in the U.S. currently with the majority in China, has prompted a massive selloff in financial markets amid worries of a broad economic slowdown and led to the cancellation of multiple events.
Other tech conferences that have been scrapped include Mobile World Congress (MWC) and Facebook’s F8 developer conference. As first reported by Variety, CBS temporarily shut down production of the current season of “The Amazing Race” because of the virus outbreak.