The Coronavirus outbreak is affecting many global events from various sectors lately, and recently, a game developers’ event just got affected.
Recently, both Sony and Facebook announced that they would not be attending the Game Developers Conference at San Francisco in March. According to GamesIndustry.biz
Thus, it would come as a significant blow for the organizers of the Game Developers Conference. These companies pulled out of the event for health issues, citing fears over coronavirus.
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Reason for Pulling out of Game Developers Conference
Sony, who owns the PlayStation franchise, said in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz that they were canceling their participation “as the situation related to the virus and global travel restricts are changing daily.”
Apart from this, Sony also announced it’s a plan to skip the PAX East Conference happening in Boston next week. This cancellation is also quite significant because of the first public demo of “The Last of Us 2”, Sony’s new game will no longer hold.
Sony was not the only one to pull out of the Game Developers Conference. Social media giants, Facebook also announced their non-participation. Facebook had initially been planning to share vital information at the conference. Which it now says it will do via videos and online Q & As.
All these come at a time when Facebook’s Oculus Quest virtual reality headset is experiencing difficulties or shortages due to the virus.
Some people in the gaming industry see these cancellations as a significant blow to the organizers of GDC. But for now, it seems as if the event will go on as scheduled. The organizers who understand the implication of the coronavirus for this event, have continued to give updates.
As of now, they say about 10 of its China-based exhibitors out of 550 total companies have canceled participation. Hopefully, for their sake, more companies do not pull out.
What are the Organizers Doing?
The organizers of the Game Developers Conference also shared some info and how they plan to address health concerns at the upcoming event.
The Game Developers Conference, which is to hold between March 16th-20th, will have a side- a health-related theme. But for now, the organizers say they will add more hand sanitizer stations.
They will add disinfecting electrostatic sprayers to significant regions of the conference. They plan to increase wipe down of microphones and doorknobs.
All these are measures they intend to take to tackle a virus that has already killed over 2,126 people globally, when it has affected about 75,000 people globally with significant figures from Asia, especially China.
Let’s not forget, these cancellations will also have implications for these companies. Sony was to show-off it’s a new game while Facebook was to address issues about its virtual reality headset.
This is evident in Sony’s statement, “we are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.” They expect future participation in the Game Developers Conference.
Therefore, the implication of this deadly coronavirus that has rocked the world is widening. The virus is trying to spread beyond China.
So also is its effect spreading, and the gaming world has become a casualty. We’ll continue to monitor activities as they unfold and be sure to relate them to you.