A veritable avalanche of cancellations due to coronavirus (a.k.a. COVID-19) concerns continued this past week. Kojima, EA, and more have backed out of events, and GDC itself was canceled. In contrast, the mayor of Boston (unsuccesfully) asked Sony to reconsider cancelling attendance at PAX East and shared concerns that fears over the epidemic could lead to prejudice against Asians. Along with that, today’s gaming roundup covers news like My Time at Portia developers announcing their new game, updates on Xbox’s upcoming next-gen console, and a new mythical Pokémon in the Galar region.
Highlights From This Week's Gaming News
After losing numerous developers and publishers as exhibitors due to concerns over the coronavirus, the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco has been canceled. Registered attendees will receive refunds, the Game Developer’s Choice Awards and Independent Games Festival will be streamed on Twitch, and other scheduled presentations will be accessible online for free.
In response to GDC's cancellation over coronavirus concerns, fellow game conference GameDev.World has stepped in with a plan for a week-long fundraiser to assist developers unable to refund costs for travel, lodgings, and visas. It will also provide support to the GDC Relief Fund.
TechRaptor is keeping track of coronavirus-motivated cancellations and related issues in an evolving list that includes CD Projekt Red, EA, Sony, and more.
Developer Ndemic Creations shares that they received no clear reason from the Cyberspace Administration of China explaining why their game was removed. Currently Plague Inc. is still available for the rest of the world.
To celebrate the original release of the Pokémon games on Feb. 27, Pokémon Day was held on the same day in honor of the anniversary. The festivities included unveiling a new mythical Pokémon in the Galar region of Pokémon Sword and Shield: Zarude, a primate-like dark/grass type that could give Rillaboom a run for his money. Pokémon Day also featured the return of a classic character with Mewtwo joining Max Raid Battles.
Pathea's follow-up to My Time at Portia is Ever Forward, a 3D puzzle title that follows Maya while she's caught between reality and her own imagination. The game draws inspiration from Portal and Journey. According to a press release, a demo of Ever Forward will be released on Steam and itch.io in the future.
There is a fan website for Dodo Airlines, an in-game company in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It lets people create a custom Animal Crossing-styled passport or boarding pass that they can share with family and friends. It's useful to share your friend code as well
In a recent blog post, Microsoft shared more details about the upcoming next-gen console Xbox Series X, which will include cross-buy functionality and more power for developers to create their games.
Colony Simulator Rimworld released its first post-launch update, and surprise announced and launched its first DLC Royalty. The new patch brings in a bunch of new things for free like new animals and wooden prosthetics, while Royalty adds the Empire to the world.
Features and Reviews of the Week
Join TechRaptor for a study of the creative process behind crafting monsters in horror games, considering major titles like Silent Hill and more obscure ones like 3D Monster Maze.
TechRaptor takes a closer look at this year's Overwatch League. A deep dive into the title’s competitive gaming scene includes checking out changes like the introduction of home and away games, switching the official broadcast from Twitch to YouTube, and in-game balance updates.
Covered in pastel and neon colors, Super Crush KO impressed with its accessible gameplay and enemy variety. However, its final boss fight has a sudden leap in difficulty that makes for a devastating surprise.
What do you think of all these cancellations? Did you see other news in gaming this week that deserves attention? What did we miss from the last week in gaming? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.