Yesterday, two more major companies withdrew their plans to participate in this year’s Game Developers Conference. Microsoft announced its intentions of no longer attending the event due to growing concerns over coronavirus’ spread. Shortly thereafter, Epic Games cancelled its plans for the same reason.
Microsoft shared the news in a post on its Game Stack Blog. The publisher’s statement on the matter reads in part, “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).”
News of Epic’s withdrawal surfaced via a post on the company’s Unreal Engine Twitter account. See it below:
Here at Epic we were excited about participating in GDC 2020. Regrettably, uncertainty around health concerns has made it unviable to send our employees, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw attendance.
Stay tuned for Epic news and more through other channels.
— Unreal Engine (@UnrealEngine) February 27, 2020
News of Microsoft’s and Epic’s pulling out of the conference came on the heels of the United States’ logging its first case of coronavirus from an unknown origin. The patient in question resides in Northern California. They haven’t been in contact with any known coronavirus patient, nor have they traveled to or from other countries affected by the virus’ spread.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier says he expects GDC organizers to soon cancel the event outright. However, no such news has surfaced as of yet.
[Source: Unreal Engine on Twitter, Microsoft]