In brief: Following MWC and GDC, Google decided that it would be better to cancel than risk the health of the thousands of I/O attendees. Google's premier developer conference, I/O 2020, has thus been cancelled.
This is yet another tech event that has been cancelled due to the concern over COVID-19. Google issued a statement today saying: "Due to concerns around the cronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, we have decided to cancel the physical Google I/O event at Shoreline Amphitheatre."
Those who have purchased tickets to the event will receive a full refund by March 13th. Additionally, those ticket holders will also be able to purchase a ticket for I/O 2021 without having to enter into a drawing. For now, Google is looking to "explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community."
A #GoogleIO update.— Google Developers (@googledevs) March 3, 2020
Due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19), we've decided to cancel this year's physical event at Shoreline Amphitheatre. It's sad that we won't be able to gather as a developer community but your health and safety is our priority. (1/2)
The spread of the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the tech and gaming community at large. Mobile World Congress and the Game Developers Conference were both cancelled in response to the ongoing virus threat. To compensate, many companies have promised digital conferences where information will be live-streamed rather than shown in-person. Google usually live-streams every I/O session on YouTube, so it may not be as terrible on the surface.
While Facebook also cancelled its F8 developer conference, Microsoft and Apple have not yet commented on whether or not their respective conferences will continue as planned. We'll update this story if Google releases new information about its I/O 2020 plans.