Sony will be skipping another event due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Sony, Facebook, and Oculus VR have all announced that they will not be attending the Game Developers Conference this year. This will be the third event this year that Sony will be skipping, following the announcements that they will not be at E3 and PAX East this year.
"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 Developers Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19," Facebook told Polygon. "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."
Sony also released a press release explaining that they will not be at the conference due to the coronavirus. In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, they stated that they "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."
This statement mirrors the one that was released yesterday when Sony announced that they would not be attending PAX East either due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Organizers for the GDC released a statement assuring attendees that they will be able to execute a safe and successful event for their community. The statement assures attendees that they are "continuing to follow the latest CDC and WHO guidance, following in the footsteps of other large international events that are taking place successfully at the Moscone Center."
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus occurred in China, over 75,000 people have become ill, with over 2,000 confirmed deaths. The virus has affected the development of some games, the cancellation of esports events, and will likely create a shortage of some consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch.