Coronavirus Cited as Concern For Microsoft, Withdraws from GDC 2020

Coronavirus Cited as Concern For Microsoft, Withdraws from GDC 2020

Microsoft backs out of Game Developers Conference 2020 due to coronavirus concerns; it will have an all-digital event between March 16-18.

Like many companies announced the past week, Microsoft will not be attending Game Developers Conference 2020 (GDC 2020) in San Francisco due to health concerns associated with coronavirus.

In Microsoft’s latest Game Stack blog post, the company announced they would be withdrawing from GDC 2020 stating, “The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority.” They specifically note coronavirus (COVID-19) as a concern.

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Rather than getting Microsoft’s partners from around the world to go to San Francisco, the company has opted for an all-digital route. Between March 16-18, much of Microsoft’s planned game developer sessions and experiences will be live-streamed on www.microsoft.com/gamestack. This includes panel discussions, behind-the-scenes looks from Xbox Game Studios teams, and the latest in cloud technology and game development.

If you’re eager to know what the full schedule will be, the Microsoft Game Stack Twitter account will post everything you need to know for its all-digital event.

This is just one of the many companies to withdraw from GDC 2020. PlayStation, Kojima Productions, and EA opted to skip the event due to coronavirus concerns.

GDC 2020 is not the only event to be affected by the coronavirus. A few companies withdrew from PAX East, which is currently underway. Square Enix simply scaled back their plans with a presence still on the floor, but PlayStation will not be in attendance. Not only did Penny Arcade respond to Sony’s departure from PAX East, the mayor of Boston formally asked the company to reconsider its decision.

The coronavirus has affected the video game industry quite significantly since it emerged. Will developers and publishers start dropping out of E3 and Gamescom later this year? Will it affect the console launches slated for this holiday season? I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens when that time comes.