Just a few days ago, it was announced that GDC was still planned to go ahead in early March despite increasing concerns around the coronavirus. At this point, Sony, Oculus, Capcom, Square Enix, Capcom, EA and more have all pulled out and this week, Microsoft, CD Projekt Red and Unity are also joining that list.
It was a huge deal when Sony pulled out, as GDC this year would have had increased focus on next-gen console plans. Now, Microsoft is joining that group, saying: “after a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we've made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020”.
CD Projekt Red also planned to have teams travel to the event for various panels but the studio has since pulled out. Unity, the company behind Unity Engine, has also decided to withdraw from the event citing health concerns, diminishing some additional panels and developer talks.
While not every company will still be streaming their planned talks, Microsoft has said that it will still host livestreamed versions of a few of its originally planned GDC panels. So the teams won't be there in person, but information will be making its way out of Microsoft's camp.
This includes panels on Xbox Series X hardware, Project xCloud and developer sessions from several Xbox Game Studios teams. Currently, GDC is still planned to take place but we'll keep an eye out for any additional statements from the conference organisers in case that changes.
KitGuru Says: At this point, I wouldn't be shocked if GDC was cancelled, although despite a reduction in appearances, for now, it looks set to still go ahead. At least on Microsoft's side, the important panels will still be hosted off-site, so it will be interesting to see those talks.