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GDC 2020 Loses Microsoft, Epic, Unity to Coronavirus

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GDC 2020 shrank a bit yesterday when Microsoft, Epic Games and Unity announced that they won't attend the conference because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Microsoft said it decided not to attend GDC 2020 "after a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution." The company won't have to reschedule any of the announcements it planned to make at the conference, however, because it plans to host "a digital-only event" from March 16-18 instead.

Epic Games made its announcement via the Unreal Engine account on Twitter. 

"Here at Epic we were excited about participating in GDC 2020," the company said. "Regrettably, uncertainty around health concerns has made it unviable to send our employees, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw attendance."

Unity, meanwhile, said in its blog post that it decided not to attend GDC 2020 because "current conditions with COVID-19 ... present too much risk" to its employees. But like Microsoft it plans to "showcase the great GDC content we’ve been working towards online" and said it'd provide more information over the next few weeks.

Microsoft, Epic Games and Unity are merely the latest companies to pull out of GDC 2020. The conference also lost Sony, Oculus, Kojima Productions and Electronic Arts; it wouldn't be surprising if other companies followed suit. Of course, the question of whether GDC will actually go on as scheduled is also on many minds. 

But for now GDC 2020 is scheduled to continue, despite missing some of the biggest names in the industry. The conference is scheduled from March 16-20 in San Francisco.