There has been a handful of big-name companies pulling out of the Game Developer Conference scheduled for March 15th and 16th, the entire conference has been postponed and will be taking place later this year. This is due to the concerns and spreading of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) all across the world and especially inside the United States.
The announcement came late Friday on the 28th of February. In the briefing givin by the organizers, the conference that usually includes vendor expos and developer talks, will be taking place later in the summer of 2020. The exact date hasn’t been decided, but the organizers do know that they don’t want to hold the San Fransisco-based meetings in March.
If you were registered for this event already, you won’t be paying any extra fees or cancelations for your hotel reservations. You also will be receiving a full refund of your pass purchase, just keep an eye on your email for the steps to get your money back.
GDC organizers are also saying that the developer talks and presentations will be available for free consumption via YouTube and the GDC video vault. The organizers of the event are also working for companies to have a platform to stream as well as the other companies that were planning on talks at the Independent Game Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards. All were going to take place in the March 16-20 time frame.
“Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we’re genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time,” event organizers said in their post. “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. We will be working with our partners to finalize the details and will share more information about our plans in the coming weeks.”
GDC is the biggest conference for developers in the world. Last year they saw a record of 27,000 attendees, something that would’ve likely been broken this year had it not been postponed.
Although there are a lot of games being discussed, this conference is always a massive step for virtual reality. This was the home of the reveal of the Oculus Rift S in 2019, the reveal of the PSVR in 2014, more PSVR breaking news in 2016, and the biggest VR game announcements in the world. The biggest players come to play at the GDC, but this year, we are going to be waiting a few months.
The biggest companies already pulled out of the conference before this announcement. With the likes of Epic, Sony, Microsoft, Facebook, Electronic Arts, Unity, and many more getting out, holding the conference wouldn’t have had the same impact as the the last few years.
As for companies trying to get their announcements out, there are options. As we said, GDC is looking to hold streams for some companies. Others are big enough and have a big enough following to reveal products on their own. Expect companies like Facebook, Epic, Sony, and others to reveal on their own time frame and on their own schedules now.
Q2 will continue to be a busy time for VR companies, as it always seems to be. For more VR news and community updates, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.