EA has announced that it will not be attending next month’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, California due to concerns about the coronavirus. Other companies that have pulled their attendance at GDC include Facebook, Sony, and Kojima Productions.
EA’s decision not to participate in GDC 2020 was made through a statement to Gamespot where the company indicated that it is “restricting non-essential travel due to the outbreak of the coronavirus”. Reporters questioned EA after Alex Sherer, a product development specialist at EA, wrote on his LinkedIn profile that he had “received word from corporate [that] EA will be limiting [its] presence at GDC”.
The official statement reads:
Having closely followed the global situation with Coronavirus and with the recent escalation of cases in new regions, we have decided to take additional steps to protect the wellbeing of our employees including the restriction of all non-essential travel. As a result, we are also canceling our official participation at GDC and limiting attendance to other events. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will adjust guidelines to our employees as we feel is appropriate.
At this point, GDC will still be taking place from March 16-20. It remains to be seen how many other companies will decline attendance due to COVID-19 and/or if the convention will be canceled. We’ll keep you posted.