Sony has released a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, announcing their withdrawal from the Game Developers Conference (GDC) due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The event is scheduled to take place March 16th to the 20th, in San Francisco California. Sony is not the first company to cancel their appearance at the conference, with the outbreak impacting an estimated 10 out of 550 companies participating in this years GDC.
This news comes right on the heels of their decision to cancel their appearance at PAX East 2020, also due to the coronavirus outbreak. Sony isn’t taking any chances when it comes to this epidemic, communicating the concern they have for their employees. Their statement to GamesIndustry.biz reads, “We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.” With death tolls rising to over 2000, this move makes sense. However, GDC intends to go on as planned, and its team assures attendee’s that proper protocols are being met.
GDC organizers have employed sanitation and cleanliness protocols, guided by the World Health Organization and Disease Control and Prevention. New measures include daily carpet sanitation, disinfecting electrostatic sprayers in frequented areas, and much more. The conference has been given the go ahead by officials within these health organizations, and the GDC team confident in the events safety. On the GDC website, it states, “We believe that, based on the strict U.S. quarantine around coronavirus and a large number of enhanced on-site measures, we are able to execute a safe and successful event for our community.” The statement also notes they are supported by the Department of Health for San Francisco and the state of California.
Any information from Sony meant to be released at GDC will have to make its way out at another time. The first public demo of The Last of Us 2 was geared up for PAX East before they pulled out. When we can expect this content remains to be seen.