Microsoft Just Pulled Out of GDC Due to Coronavirus Fears [Update: Epic is Out Too]

Microsoft Just Pulled Out of GDC Due to Coronavirus Fears [Update: Epic is Out Too]

Xbox developer joins Sony, EA, and other major devs in canceling events as Covid-19 spreads.

Update: Epic has also confirmed that it's pulling out of GDC. The announcement was made via a brief tweet.

Epic typically has a very large presence at GDC, with major events including the State of Unreal keynote, so its absence dramatically weakens and already reeling conference. The original story continues below.

Microsoft announced today that it's pulling out of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, joining Sony, EA, and other major publishers in canceling its plans for the event. Its announcement comes among ongoing concerns about the Covid-19 outbreak, which recently saw its first case in California not connected to international travel.

Microsoft released a short statement explaining the decision to pull out of GDC on its official developer site:

"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 in San Francisco. 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)."

Microsoft is planning to instead hold a digital-only event from March 16 to 18. In this event, Microsoft will feature panel discussions; the latest info on development, and "behind-the scenes looks" into games by Xbox Games Studios.

The cancellation comes at a crucial time for Microsoft. While there had been no plans to show the Xbox Series X at the show, Microsoft is nevertheless in the process of trying to build momentum for its exclusives, its cloud services, and other next-gen offerings.

Despite these cancellations, GDC insists that the show will go on, albeit with numerous precautions. It's slated to kick off March 16 and run throughout the week.

Photo credit: GDC 2020 official website

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a former freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and EGM. Her fondest memories as a journalist are at GamePro, where she hosted RolePlayer's Realm and had legal access to the term "Protip." She is USgamer's resident mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).

Related articles

Stardew Valley Just Got Beaches, Fish Tanks, Swimming Ducks, and a Whole Lot More

Nearly five years on, Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone just pushed what he says is Stardew's "biggest update yet."

Alien: Isolation Is Free on Epic and Just As Good as It Was in 2014

Get the motion tracker and don't go in the vents.

Shigeru Miyamoto Expresses Confidence in the Younger Generation of Nintendo

The legendary creator says the spirit will stay alive.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.