The Game Developers Conference (GDC) will run in San Francisco from March 16 through to March 20, but some major game publishers are dropping out. EA has become the latest company to pull out from the conference, following PlayStation and Kojima Productions.
EA has sent through a statement to GameSpot, confirming that they will not be officially participating in GDC, and are restricting non-essential travel due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Their statement follows.
“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. 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.”
EA’s decision was first revealed by a LinkedIn post from Alex Sherer, an ad product development specialist at 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,” the post reads.
This will likely lead to the cancellation of multiple panels that EA staff were poised to appear on, including one entitled EA’s Studio Organization: Lessons Learned, which was to feature five speakers from the company.
Despite these setbacks, GDC 2020 is still planned to go ahead for now. To date, there have been 53 reported cases of the coronavirus in the US, with zero deaths.