Quite a few cancellations have affected the tech industry following the outbreak of Coronavirus, also known as COVID 19 the specific strand affecting the humans. Sony, Facebook, EA, Kojima have had their cancellations announced already, and the latest reports have unveiled more names. Microsoft and Epic are also skipping GDC 2020 that is supposed to happen in San Francisco. In their blog post on Game Stack, Microsoft writes that ‘Health and Safety’ is a primary concern and is more important than the gaming conference.
The World at the Brink of Public Health Risk
Owing to the outbreak of Coronavirus whose numbers have grown in hundreds of thousands infected, a public health crisis has been looming overhead. In the view of physically attending any public places, public transport, and even office, people are raising serious concerns. Coronavirus and GDC 2020 could be a dangerous combination with people from all across the world attending this big gaming conference; Microsoft has announced that it will live stream the event. A digital-only event will be streamed on 16th to 18th, game sessions; developer panels and so on will also be live-streamed. This year Microsoft had plans for Xbox Series X discussion and Project xCloud talks as well.
Epic, on the other hand, has simply declined to attend GDC 2020. They have been the developer behind the widely popular and hugely successful Unreal Engine, Fortnite, and the Epic Games Store. It will be a certain thing to miss them but safety is a priority. The world is alert to any such cases and quarantine is the only known way to stay safe. The news so far was that Epic was all set to hold its annual panels on the ‘State of Unreal’ briefing. This is usually mixed with major announcements from the gaming giant, which might as well be completely canceled or arranged similarly to others, digital-only.
The Stand of WHO on Coronavirus
COVID 19 has been wrecking via contact and air. Till now the virus has infected over 82,000 (known cases only) and has claimed the lives of more than 2,800 people all over the world. The danger is mostly contained in China but the outbreaks have affected countries like the USA. San Francisco has declared as a state of emergency and has started preparing for a potential outbreak.
To make things clear, MWC was canceled for the first time in history and perhaps the Tokyo Olympics will also be canceled as well. The virus is continuing to spread at an alarming rate and no one seems to know ways of treating it so far. While so many companies have declined to attend GDC 2020, the threat is beginning to sound alarms all over the world. Google, Apple, and many others have already started cancellations.
As a matter of fact, for all gaming fans, the major spread of COVID 19 has threatened regular operations not just in the tech world, but across gatherings of all kinds.