Microsoft, Epic, Unity Will Also Skip GDC 2020 Due to Coronavirus Threat. MS, Unity Will Hold Online Events


Microsoft, Epic, and Unity can be added to the list of companies that will not be participating in the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2020 in San Francisco. All three cited the coronavirus epidemic and health concerns for not attending the event scheduled from March 16. While Epic took to Twitter and shared the news, Microsoft and Unity released statements on their blogs. Microsoft confirmed that it will have a digital-only event from March 16 to March 18, which will be hosted on its Game Stack page.

In its statement, Microsoft stated that out of caution and following the guidance of global health authorities, the company decided to withdraw from GDC 2020.

“The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19),” it stated. Microsoft will be organizing a digital-only event on its Game Stack page where it will have technical talks, developer demos, panel discussions, and viewers will be able to get a behind-the-scenes look into the decision making process of developers.

In a tweet by its Unreal Engine Twitter account, Epic stated that the company won’t attend GDC this year due to the health concerns of its employees. Epic also asked fans to stay tuned for more updates on its other channels.

Unity shared its statement on its blog, saying the health and safety of its employees is paramount, and that current conditions of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) are too risky. Like Microsoft, Unity will also host an online event. “We’re advising all employees to refrain from traveling to GDC. We will no longer have a physical presence with a booth, but will instead showcase the great GDC content we’ve been working towards online. Expect more details in the coming weeks,” it stated.

Microsoft, Epic, and Unity have joined what seems to be a growing list of companies that have backed out of GDC 2020. The list includes Facebook Oculus, Sony, Kojima Productions, EA, among others.

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