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Electronic Arts withdraws from GDC 2020 due to coronavirus concerns

Electronic Arts withdraws from GDC 2020 due to coronavirus concerns

Electronic Arts has chosen to withdraw from the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020 due to the coronavirus.

As announced on LinkedIn by ad product development specialist Alex Sherer, the publisher has advised all of its employees to not travel to San Francisco for the event. Sherer is an ad product development specialist for EA.

"Just received word from corporate, and EA will be limiting our presence at GDC, cancelling our participation in official GDC events, and all EA employees have been advised to not travel to San Francisco for the conference," said Sherer.

Speaking to Gamespot, EA acknowledged that the coronavirus outbreak is the reason for it not only pulling out of GDC but for also restricting non-essential travel for its staff.

"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 wellbeing of our employees including the restriction of all non-essential travel," said EA.

"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."

If EA wasn't a big enough hit to the event, Kojima Productions also revealed - via Twitter (below) - that it would be giving GDC 2020 a miss. As a result, the sessions being held by Hideo Kojima and Eric Johnson have been cancelled.

"Kojima Productions has made the difficult decision to cancel our participation at the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to coronavirus," said Kojima Productions.

"Although much-anticipated, unfortunately, this cancellation also includes Hideo Kojima's session on the 19th and Eric Johnson's session on the 16th."

These two publishers are the latest in a growing list of companies that have pulled out of the event.

Last week, both PlayStation and Facebook cancelled their appearances due to the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic has also impacted product production. Valve's Index Vr is one such item that has been affected.

Another area of the industry - esports - was also affected. In January, competitive Overwatch matches across China were cancelled for the safety of players and fans alike.

GDC itself is confirmed to be going ahead. However, there are heavy restrictions in place for Chinese companies. Firms in China have two options, send a North American representative or cancel its appearance till next year.


Staff Writer

A freelance writer based in Berkshire. Besides PG and PCGI she has written as a guides writer, specialising in RPG's and horror.

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