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Activision, Blizzard, & Amazon pull out of GDC 2020 over worries of coronavirus outbreak

More bleak news for GDC 2020 as major companies Activision Blizzard and Amazon pull out of the show alongside the many companies concerned about the coronavirus.

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GDC 2020’s show floor is looking more and more sparse with each passing day as companies withdraw due to concerns regarding COVID – 19, the coronavirus. Now, Activision Blizzard and Amazon are the latest to withdraw from the show, citing concerns over the disease in their reasons for withdrawal from GDC 2020.

Both Amazon and Activision Blizzard announced their withdrawal from GDC 2020 on February 28, 2020. Amazon was the first to state that it would be withdrawing its presence from the show. Blizzard came next with its own announcement and, understandably, its partner company Activision came soon after. In each announcement, the reasoning for withdrawing from GDC was the same. Concerns over the coronavirus have caused massive concern and each company is unwilling to risk the health of staff to be present at the show.

Major party withdrawal from GDC is becoming a more and more common story going into the month of the event. Facebook, Oculus, and Sony kicked things off and it wasn’t long before other companies started following suit. Some of the other major players to pull attendance of GDC included Microsoft, Unreal (and by extension Epic Games), and Unity, who all contribute significantly to both the floor presence and panels at GDC.

The exit of Amazon and Activision Blizzard entirely from GDC 2020 means that over 10 major players have dropped out of the show overall at this point. It remains to be seen what happens to the show with this being the case. GDC itself has not made any formal decision as of yet to cancel the event.

Even so, GDC wouldn’t be the last event to drop their show on short notice. The coronavirus has also affected IEM Katowice and EVE Fanfest 2020, with the former restricting on-site attendance and the latter being canceled outright. At this point, a cancelation may be for the best in GDC’s case.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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