Looks like Corona-chan’s deadly allure is starting to affect Western events. After Sony pulled out of PAX East citing coronavirus, both Sony and Facebook’s Oculus division also pulled out of the Game Developers Conference set to take place in March, also citing the coronavirus.
GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that both companies issued statements on the pull-out, and Oculus noted that they would still make announcement via video streaming.
A Facebook spokesperson issued the following statement…
“Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community, Facebook will not be attending this year’s Game Developer Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19. We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show through videos, online Q&As, and more, and will plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks.
“We continue to collaborate with UBM, GDC’s parent company, and our partners, and thank them for their efforts.”
This comes after a reported 75,700 people have been infected and more than 2,130 have died from the infection.
Multiple infections have been popping up all over the world, including 174 infected from a cruise ship in Japan, as reported by the Daily Sabah.
Two cases have already popped up in San Francisco, California, according to the San Francisco Gate. Given how unsanitary San Francisco is, what with the public defecation and constant supply of heroin needles littering the streets, as reported by Business Insider, it would come as no surprise if the coronavirus spreads like wildfire throughout southern California.
Perhaps for the aforementioned reasons or due to some other undisclosed concerns, Sony also opted out of publicly attending this year’s GDC.
In a statement sent to GamesIndustry, Sony Interactive Entertainment explained…
“”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.”
PAX East has also seen its fair share of pull-outs, with the website noting that 10 out of the 550 participating companies have been affected so far, most of whom were China-based.
This year’s GDC, however, is still scheduled to take place between March 16th and March 20th in San Francisco, California.