Sony and Facebook Withdraw From GDC 2020 Over Coronavirus Concerns

Sony and Facebook Withdraw From GDC 2020 Over Coronavirus Concerns

That's PlayStation's second event cancellation in two days.

Out of concern for employee safety, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Facebook's Oculus have decided not to attend the 2020 Game Developers Conference next month. The two companies are both withdrawing from the event citing concerns over the ongoing 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak.

Sony and Facebook both made statements on the cancellations to A spokesperson for Facebook says the company still plans to "share the exciting announcements [Oculus] had planned for the show through videos, online Q&As, and more." In its statement, Sony does not specify whether it will adapt its GDC plans for another event or venue:

We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus). We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.

Yesterday, Sony also canceled its PAX East 2020 presence due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus. Just over a week prior, Naughty Dog had announced that The Last of Us Part 2 would be playable at the event.

Over 100 more deaths attributed to the coronavirus have been reported in the day since Sony's PAX East withdrawal, bringing CNN's estimate of the total deaths to over 2,100. So far, the total number of infected worldwide has risen to over 75,000.

These cancellations are just the latest in a string of games industry delays and scuttled plans brought about by the coronavirus outbreak. It's likely that we'll see more in the weeks to come, and with Chinese game studios and factories obeying strict quarantines, the industry may continue to feel the ripple effects of the outbreak for quite some time.

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.

Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

In other news

Control: Ultimate Edition Confirms PS5 and Xbox Series S/X Dates and Ray Tracing Toggle

If you were hoping for the highest of high-end performance… dream on, Faden.

The SNES Can Do Ray Tracing Thanks to a Homebrew “SuperRT” Chip

Ben Carter's chip design makes real-time lighting and reflections possible on a 30-year-old console.

Xbox Is Hosting a Space Jam Game Jam Design Contest

We got a real (game) jam goin' now.

Need help?

Apex Legends Vaults - Where to Find the Vaults and How to Open Them

Need to know how to find a Vault Key in Apex Legends to open one of the three vaults? We've got you covered.

Gears 5 Collectibles - How to Find All Collectible Locations

Here's our guide to the Gears 5 collectible locations, including Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act 4 collectibles.

Devil May Cry 5 Devil Breakers - Devil Breaker Arm Abilities in Devil May Cry 5

Here's our complete breakdown of every Devil Breaker arm ability for Nero in Devil May Cry 5.

Sekiro Tips - How to Beat Every Boss and Survive in Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

This is our complete beginner's guide to surviving Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, including a list of essential tips and tricks.