Game Developers Conference postpones March event due to coronavirus

Game Developers Conference postpones March event due to coronavirus

Attendees play games on the new Stadia gaming platform at the Google booth at the 2019 GDC Game Developers Conference.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Game Developers Conference, a major annual event for video game programmers and designers in San Francisco, has been postponed due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus, organizers said in a statement on Friday.

The conference was scheduled for March 16 through March 20. GDC organizers didn’t provide new dates for the conference but said they “fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer.” San Francisco has declared a state of emergency to prepare for the COVID-19 coronavirus and officials said on Friday that the virus is spreading through exposure in Northern California.

“Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we’re genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time,” organizers said in a statement.

Last year, 29,000 people attended the conference, according to the organizers.

The news comes after several major GDC participants had already announced they were skipping the event this year. Amazon Web Services, Facebook and Microsoft announced that they would withdraw their participation from the conference.

GDC is among a growing number of tech conferences to be postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus. Facebook said on Thursday that it canceled its annual F8 software developer conference, and Workday told employees this week that its annual internal sales meeting scheduled for early March will be held online instead of in San Jose, California.

Eventbrite shares plunged 14% on Friday after the online ticketing service warned in its quarterly earnings call that at some big events “large-scale cancellations might occur due to the risk of gathering that many people.”

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