GDC has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak

2 Mar 2020

Downtown San Francisco. Image: © JFL Photography/

The latest big tech industry event to be disrupted due to the coronavirus outbreak is San Francisco’s Game Developers Conference, which was set to attract around 29,000.

Last week, Microsoft, Sony and Facebook announced their plans to pull out of the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, as a precaution in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Later, other major games companies including Activision Blizzard, Unity and Amazon announced that they would no longer be attending the event.

This has prompted the event’s organisers to postpone GDC until later this year. Originally planned to take place from 16 March to 20 March, GDC will now be pushed back to summer, after “close consultation” between GDC and its partners.

A ‘difficult decision’

In a statement, GDC said: “We’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Game Developers Conference this March.

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

“We want to thank all our customers and partners for their support, open discussions and encouragement. As everyone has been reminding us, great things happen when the community comes together and connects at GDC. For this reason, we fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer.”

Working out an alternative

GDC said it will be working with its partners to finalise the details on what this event will look like and will share more information about these plans in the coming weeks.

The event’s organisers said that registered conference and expo attendees will receive full refunds for badge purchases, while conference speakers will be provided with the opportunity to make their planned GDC presentations available online for free.

Any speaker who decides to do this, will have their presentation uploaded to the GDC YouTube channel. Additionally, the conference’s associated awards shows will be streamed on Twitch during the week that the event was initially scheduled to be held on. These awards shows include the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Independent Games Festival.

Last year’s event was attended by 29,000 professionals from the video game industry. It is the latest industry event that has been cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19, following Facebook’s F8 event for developers, and GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic