Another big hit was served to GDC 2020 after it was announced by Epic Games and Microsoft that neither will be attending the event out of concerns relating to the spreading of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
The announcement that Microsoft would withdraw was made on its developer website. It stated: “after a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).”
As a replacement, Microsoft stated between the 16th and 18th of March hold a digital event and include the majority of what was planned at GDC. Commenting, Microsoft stated: “GDC has long been a moment for us to come together and celebrate Gaming for Everyone with our many vibrant communities.”
The company adding “While we won’t be able to bring our G4E events online, we remain committed to celebrating and amplifying our diverse communities in gaming throughout the year.” Shortly after Microsoft announced its decision to not attended GDC, Epic Games also announced their departure via their Twitter account.
Epic Games and Microsoft join Kojima Productions, Electronic Arts, Facebook and Sony as those who have opted to pull out of the event due to Coronavirus concerns. Their departures brings into question GDC’s viability and its ability to move forward. The event is scheduled to run from March 16th to the 20th in San Francisco. However, with the large number of major players exiting the event, it is unknown how many will attend.
Plague Inc Hit by Coronavirus Impact
The China App Store has recently removed the game Plague Inc, a real-time strategy game. Its developers, Ndemic Creations responded to the removal stating that things are out of control and that as a company they are looking at steps to bring the game back.
Via Ndemic’s official website, the company released a statement explaining the removal of the game being related to it “includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China.”
The company further explained they are unsure if its removal was in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus or if it was strictly related to the narrative of the games being the spreading of a global deadly disease throughout the world.