Coronavirus continues to disrupt video games industry: Sony and Facebook to skip GDC

PlayStation and Facebook Gaming/Oculus will not be coming to GDC 2020 due to concerns related to coronavirus.

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Image Credit: GDC

This is despite the fact that the GDC organizers promise a safe and successful event “based on the strict U.S. quarantine around coronavirus and a large number of enhanced on-site measures.”

A Sony Interactive Entertainment spokesperson made a statement via GamesIndustry.biz: “We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.”

Coronavirus has also forced PlayStation to cancel its plans to appear at PAX East next week, even though it was going to showcase the playable demo of The Last of Us II at the event.

Facebook is advising its employees against attending the show this year. However, it is still going to highlight its Oculus business remotely via “video, online Q&As and more.”

Speaking of which, the production of Oculus Quest has also been impacted by the outbreak. And it’s not just Oculus. Valve said that coronavirus will affect the supply of Valve Index VR headsets ahead of Half-Life: Alyx March 23 release.

Similar statements were made by other companies. Nintendo confirmed unavoidable delays in the Nintendo Switch production.

Eearlier, PUBG Corporation made the decision to postpone the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds esports event initially scheduled for April.

In the meantime, COVID-19 has claimed lives of 2,130 people. A total of 75,700 have been infected. This is mostly in China, but over 1,000 cases have been reported in other countries.

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