What just happened? The coronavirus continues to disrupt the best-laid plans of conference organizers worldwide. After prompting coordinators to call off the smartphone industry’s largest trade show last week, the global health hazard is now rattling other tech sectors.
Both Facebook and Sony have confirmed that they won’t be attending the Game Developers Conference due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
Facebook said it will not have a physical footprint at the show and advised all employees to refrain from travel during the show. The company said it will replace in-person sessions scheduled for GDC with videos and announcements posted on the Facebook Gaming developer website.
Sony Interactive Entertainment echoed similar sentiments. In a statement issued to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony said they felt canceling their participation in the conference was the best option as the situation related to the coronavirus and global travel restrictions are changing daily.
Sony earlier this week also canceled its participation in PAX East.
GDC organizers on Thursday addressed the matter publicly. As of writing, the event will go on as scheduled albeit with enhanced on-site measures. Organizers said the Department of Health for both California and San Francisco support the convening of public events.
In related news, both AT&T and IBM have pulled out of next week’s security-minded RSA Conference. As of Friday, around 500 people have canceled their plans to attend the trade show.
The Game Developers Conference is scheduled for March 16 through the 20th in San Francisco, California.