Microsoft Withdraws from GDC 2020 Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Game Developers Conference is on the verge of being canceled as Microsoft, Unity, Facebook, and EA all drop out.
Derya Ozdemir

Coronavirus outbreak is on the verge of becoming a pandemic, and governments and companies alike have gone to lengths to ensure public safety. Many important events such as the Mobile World Congress 2020 and Facebook's F8 were canceled due to coronavirus concerns, and the future of Game Developers Conference doesn't seem bright either.

Previously, GDC had stated on its website that the event would continue without a hitch. The statement 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."

On Thursday, Microsoft announced its withdrawal from the much-anticipated event.


UPDATE February 28, 4:00 PM EST: Amazon also pulled out of GDC amid fears of coronavirus infection

In addition to Microsoft, Amazon has also pulled out of the Game Developers Conference amid growing worries about the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, according to an update on its blog.

Amazon Web Services canceled its attendance of the 2020 show because of "continued concerns over COVID-19," the company said.

Instead, Amazon is planning a "global online event" in May, slated to show what the AWS Game Tech team planned on debuting in person. Amazon said it will announce more in the coming weeks.

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Microsoft's statement regarding its exit from the GDC conference reads, “After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority.”

The company will host a digital-only event between March 16-18 instead. The event will have their planned game developer sessions and experiences and will be streamed live and available on-demand.

It is not clear if the GDC will cancel the event or not. This tweet shows how serious the situation is.

With 2,800 death and over 82,000 cases, it is understandable why the companies are ditching the event.

You can stay up to date through Latest Updates on Wuhan's Deadly Virus.

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