Game Developer’s Conference, also known as GDC, is annually one of the San Francisco area’s biggest conventions. However, after a slew of developer and publisher cancellations due to the looming threat of a Coronavirus pandemic spreading, GDC has announced the decision to cancel the march conference this year, with the possibility of hosting it later in summer.
An official statement posted on the GDC website on February 28th reads:
“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.”
No information has been released yet about possible dates for the summer conference. GDC was originally scheduled to be held from March 16th to the 20th. Following on the heels of the Taipei Game Show postponement, this marks the second major conference to be heavily affected by the virus.
According to FAQs on the GDC website, refunds will be given in full for those attendees who request them, and will not be charged penalties or fees on hotel reservations booked in the GDC block.
Several of the talks and presentations that were scheduled will be made available for free online, and speakers are allowed the option to contribute. No word yet on which presenters will and won’t be participating in this new format. Additionally, GDC plans to stream the Independent Games Festival and Game Developer’s Choice Awards via Twitch during the week of the conference’s original schedule.
Update: February 28, 2020
The IGDA released a statement on the cancellation, by Executive Director Renee Gittins:
The IGDA strives to ensure game developers can successfully pursue their dreams. We support the personal growth of game developers, the betterment of the game industry, and also work to help developers overcome the many challenges in the industry and the world.
With the effect of COVID-19 on conferences and international travel, many companies and developers have not only lost business opportunities and access to valuable talks, but their critical funds invested in travel, booth space, and passes to pursue these opportunities. In light of this, the IGDA would like to announce a partnership with GameDev.World to support both affected and all developers worldwide.
The IGDA is partnering with GameDev.World’s online event and fundraiser to alleviate the financial burdens on developers affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. In addition to providing financial relief, this event will supply education opportunities via free talks about important game development subjects. Attendees across the globe will be able to hone their expertise and knowledge.
The IGDA is also partnering with Take This, a trusted leader in mental health practice in the game industry, to develop new materials and standards of support and professionalism to ensure the success of developers. This partnership will provide trusted resources for sustainable development practices by improving human resource practices and leadership development across the game industry.
We are proud to be a leading voice of the game development community as we come together to aid those in our industry in the pursuit of their dreams. Both of these partnerships will support game developers around the globe in achieving fulfilling and sustainable careers, and should lessen the burdens created by these recent events.
You can learn more about GameDev.World's event in our coverage of their charity event.
For a full list of events and other related video game cancellations due to the spreading Coronavirus, check out TechRaptor's complete list.