Coronavirus – Two more companies announced that they won’t be at the conference aimed at game developers. Also, PAX East is seeing less presence from a few companies.
Sony, Facebook (Oculus), Kojima Productions – we wrote about regarding their abstinence from GDC 2020 in the past few days. Now, we can chalk up two more of those that won’t be in San Francisco. The first one is Electronic Arts – Alex Sherer (EA’s Ad Product Development Specialist) and Erik Ortman (Battlefield’s user experience lead designer) both revealed that the publisher has cancelled its GDC events, and they recommend that the employees don’t partake in non-essential travel. EA also confirmed it to GameSpot in a statement: „Having closely followed the global situation with coronavirus and with the recent escalation of cases in new regions, we have decided to take additional steps to protect the well-being of our employees including the restriction of all non-essential travel. As a result, we are also cancelling our official participation at GDC and limiting attendance to other events. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will adjust guidelines to our employees as we feel is appropriate.” Kowloon Nights, a game investment fund, has also confirmed in a tweet that they won’t be out at GDC 2020, which will run between March 16 and 20.
That’s just half of the story. Regarding PAX East, we already mentioned that Sony will not be in Boston (which is why we can bid farewell to the playable demo of The Last of Us Part II that they would have brought), but two Japanese companies joined the queue. Square Enix openly explained in a statement that due to the coronavirus, their panel appearances, signing sessions, and fan gatherings are scaled back, as the Japan office team will not travel to the United States. Capcom also published a tweet that says the Monster Hunter: Festa event will be held though, the Japanese developers of the series will not attend PAX East. While they didn’t say the reason, we can suspect that the virus from Wuhan, China could be it.
And we don’t know if the situation is going to improve or not, but it’s an unfortunate time, as the new console generation will launch this year.
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