After Mobile World Congress (MWC) was recently canceled over concerns about coronavirus, it looks more likely that other tech conferences might meet a similar fate. Sony already backed out of PAX East, it announced this week, and yesterday Gamesindustry.biz reported that Sony also won't attend Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March. The same goes for Facebook's VR headset brand Oculus.
Sony's plans for covering the show, taking place in San Francisco, weren't detailed. However, Facebook said that Oculus plans on covering the show remotely.
In a statement, Facebook said that "Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners and the GDC community as a whole, Facebook’s AR/VR and Gaming teams won’t be attending this year’s Game Developers Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19. We’re removing our booth footprint and advising all employees to refrain from traveling to the show."
The 2019-nCov virus has been blamed for rippling damage throughout the tech industry, causing various delays and shortages. For example, the next Nintendo Switch is also expected to be affected by these shortages.
Regardless, Informatech, the organization behind GDC has outed a statement saying that the show will proceed and that precautions are being taken so that they "are able to execute a safe and successful event for our community.
"Locally, the Department of Health for both the State of California and the City of San Francisco support the convening of public events," GDC said in a statement Thursday.
But history has taught us that that doesn't necessarily mean the show will go on. MWC's organizers also announced that their show would proceed, only to cancel it less than two weeks prior to starting due to an excess of withdrawals.