This year’s annual Game Developers Conference has been postponed amid growing concern about the international coronavirus outbreaks. The event, which has run since 1988, was expected to take place from March 16th–20th in San Francisco.
“After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March,” reads a note posted to the official GDC website on Friday evening. “Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we’re genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time.”
The organization behind the conference, exhibition company Informa, intends to refund attendees the cost of tickets, although it’s unclear if a system will be in place to transfer tickets to the planned summer version of the conference. It’s also unclear how GDC will fit into an already-packed summer of game events including E3 in June and Gamescom and Pax Prime in August, all three of which may ultimately be similarly impacted by the coronavirus.
In the weeks leading up to GDC, companies like Sony, Facebook, Electronic Arts, Kojima Productions, Unity, Amazon, and Epic all withdrew their attendance. Each cited health and safety concerns regarding the event. All of GDC’s China-based exhibitors also pushed their attendance to 2021, while China-based conference attendees would not be present. Organizers also announced that it would expand its flu season protocol to include additional sanitation measures.