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Sony, Oculus & Facebook ditch GDC 2020 over coronavirus concerns

Even more gaming companies are pulling out of GDC 2020 over concerns surrounding coronavirus and its spread.

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Those looking forward to see Oculus and Sony on the showfloor at GDC 2020 will need to wait another year. Thanks to the growing concern surrounding the coronavirus, developers at Facebook Gaming/Oculus and Sony have all decided to sit this one out.

The report comes via gamesindustry.biz. According to the site, a Facebook spokesperson stated, “Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community, Facebook will not be attending this year's Game Developer Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19.” The spokesperson continued by saying, “We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show through videos, online Q&As, and more, and will plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks.”

Fans were set to get a playable version of Last of Us 2 on the PAX East showfloor. Now that will need to wait even longer.
Fans were set to get a playable version of The Last of Us 2 on the PAX East showfloor. Now that will need to wait even longer.

So, while Oculus and Facebook Gaming won’t be there, the company does plan to release new announcements as usual. This time, however, those announcements will come via digital form. Gamesindustry.biz also reports that PlayStation has decided to pull out of GDC 2020 as well. We already knew from earlier reports that the gaming company would be missing out on PAX East due to concerns, but now Sony has also pulled out of GDC 2020.

A statement to gamesindustry.biz from Sony reads, “We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.”

While it’s definitely sad to hear that neither Oculus nor Sony will be attending GDC 2020, it also makes sense. With such a large threat from the coronavirus, we’ve seen more than a fair share of companies pulling out of conventions. It’s a safety concern that anyone attending these events has to take into consideration. We’re still excited to see what GDC 2020 has to offer, though, and we’ll have plenty of coverage of the event when the time comes.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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