Several companies have been backing out of international gaming events due to growing concern over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Today, Kojima Productions confirmed it would also be sitting out this year's GDC because of the disease.
In a statement (via Twitter), Kojima Productions says it has made the "difficult decision" to cancel its participation at the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to "increasing concerns related to coronavirus."
Kojima Productions has made the difficult decision to cancel our participation at the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to coronavirus. (1/2)https://t.co/K6FJtq5Tpx- Kojima Productions (@KojiPro2015_EN) February 24, 2020
This cancellation includes Hideo Kojima and Eric Johnson's planned sessions at the event. Kojima was set to give a talk on Death Stranding's design philosophy, including analysis of the concept, theme, and storytelling of the game.
Sony and Facebook have also withdrawn from GDC over concerns regarding the coronavirus, which has over 79,000 cases so far, the majority in mainland China. Sony also announced it wouldn't be attending this year's PAX East in Boston due to the coronavirus.
The coronavirus has had a noticeable impact on the gaming industry. The Nintendo Switch port of The Outer Worlds has been delayed due to concerns over Chinese developer Virtuos' health safety. Others have speculated this may cause other delays for development studios in the region. Reports of possible hardware shortages have also gone around, as Bloomberg reports that Nintendo Switch shipments to Japan have been delayed by the coronavirus.