Game Developers Conference Has Been 'Postponed'

Photo: GDC

Following the exit of several major exhibitors, the organisers of the Game Developers Conference said Friday that the show, originally scheduled to take place from March 16 to 20 in San Francisco, will be postponed until later this winter due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

“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,” the show’s official statement said. “We fully intend to host a GDC event later in the [American] summer. We will be working with our partners to finalise the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.”

GDC said that conference attendees would be refunded in full for their tickets, and that anyone who booked a hotel in a GDC room block would be able to cancel without penalty.

GDC is one of the video game industry’s longest-running annual shows, having begun in 1988. An annual conference for video game developers to network and share ideas, GDC has since grown into one of the industry’s most important venues for presentations by both AAA and independent studios. GDC 2020 featured a massive list of panels on every conceivable subject related to video game design and production, with talks from Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Epic, and practically every other major video game firm.

The massive exodus of exhibitors from GDC 2020 started last week, when Sony and Facebook, which produces the Oculus VR headsets, announced they would be pulling out of the event due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. The last few days have seen a stream of similar announcements from Microsoft, Epic, Amazon, Blizzard, Kojima Productions, Gearbox Software, Iron Galaxy Studios, and Unity. Several media outlets also announced that they would not be attending the show.

GDC is the latest of many events to shut down over coronavirus concerns. Both the Mobile World Congress and EVE Fanfest have cancelled in the last week, as well as several esports events and venues.


Comments

    I understand the circumstances, but it's such a big middle finger to the indie developers who made a huge financial sacrifice to attend, especially those from outside the United States.

    EDIT: I've been getting a surprising amount of flak for this on other sites so I just want to clarify that I'm not intentionally downplaying the seriousness of the COVID–19 outbreak. As implied, I understand and agree that cancelling/postponing the event was the right choice, but it's not unreasonable or selfish for less fortunate attendees to be upset about the consequences that arise from doing so, especially so soon before the event was scheduled.

    Last edited 01/03/20 12:29 am

    While it doesn't solve all of an indie's financial losses, you did see this, right?

    "GDC said that conference attendees would be refunded in full for their tickets, and that anyone who booked a hotel in a GDC room block would be able to cancel without penalty."

      Not everyone would have gone for a room in a GDC block, or been able to because larger companies etc would have booked them out as a bloc. But there's not really much else GDC could have done.

        Exactly my point, GDC have done as much as they can to reimburse people.

    Better hope that WINTER kills off covid-19, but I wouldn't count on it. You'd need it to be winter all around the world at the same time for that to truly work!

    I would have just made everyone wear a face filter, probably the best preventative at this point.

    Last edited 02/03/20 5:41 pm

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