You may have seen a lot of companies announcing that they won’t be appearing at the Game Developers Conference this year due to concerns about the coronavirus. Well now we can see that enough have pulled out to justify the organisers postponing the event entirely. This is a massive blow to both the industry and the organisers, but the event looks like it will eventually happen, just later this year.
Unfortunately the coronavirus is spreading much faster and farther than expected. While many people still believe that it poses no threat to them, there are more who are concerned enough to take measures to avoid it. Sadly that’s forced companies like Kojima Productions and even Amazon to pull out of GDC 2020.
The organisers of GDC put out a statement explaining how the event has now been postponed. Their sadness is palpable within the statement. I can’t imagine what the last few weeks must have been like, seeing so many companies pull out of an event that’s looked forward to by so many, and a highlight for the gaming calendar.
However, all is not lost. The statement describes how GDC 2020 will return later this summer, which is at least some form of relief for the industry. The event sees so many gameplay reveals and game announcements, and missing it entirely this year would be a huge shame. We can only hope that the organisers has the correct insurance coverage, one that will allow them to recoup most of their costs. My wife used to work in events organising, and she described the feeling of so many exhibitors pulling out as a heartbreaking blow for those on the organisation end. It must be very difficult to watch something that you’ve put so much effort into fall apart because of something that’s out for your control.
The coronavirus could disrupt more events this year. EGX Rezzed is happening in London in just a few weeks, but so far there’s been no word of anyone pulling out. We’ll just have to wait and see how bad things get, because it might prove essential to avoid crowded public events, regardless of what they’re for.