GDC 2020 was among the first events to get cancelled due to the coronavirus. Originally scheduled to take place from March 16, 2020, to March 20, 2020, organizers eventually postponed it indefinitely. This came after a vast number of exhibitors pulled out of the event due to fears of the virus’ spread.
Companies Dropped Out As A Precaution
It started with a slow trickle of companies saying they were cancelling their appearances. Sony and Oculus were among the first ones to drop out of the event. Suddenly, quite a few more decided to follow those two out the door. Electronic Arts, Hideo Kojima, PlayStation, Facebook, all decided to pull out of the event.
Finally, after Microsoft, Epic Games and Unity also followed suit, the organisers decided they simply had to pull the plug on this event. The virus’ spread has seen severe effects in the San Francisco Bay area, which where they’d organised the event. It has seen 463 confirmed cases of infections so far, and the number could climb higher still.
Online Presentations As A Replacement GDC
Quite a few companies have decided to go down the online route to showcase their cancelled presentations, though, Microsoft announced an online event from March 16, 2020, to March 18, 2020, which is essentially the same as GDC 2020’s schedule. PlayStation themselves hosted a live stream on March 18, 2020, where they talked about the specs of the upcoming PlayStation 5.
New Event Planned For The Summer
So, despite the cancellations, these companies were still able to showcase their plans for the coming year. GDC itself may get another chance this year, though. The organisers have announced a new event in the summer season. Appropriately titled GDC Summer, this will be a shorter, three-day event. This new event will take place from August 4, 2020, to August 6, 2020.
They describe the event on their website as follows, “GDC Summer’s conference program is comprised of the high-quality technical content, mixed with valuable round-table discussions to foster conversation and connection.”
“The event will also host a new series of microtalks and fireside chats, as well as a dedicated space for comprehensive ‘career development’ sessions covering topics such as: how to pitch your game, effective communication strategies, how to land an investor/publisher and business development strategies.”
It’s still quite an optimistic prospect to organise an event with concrete dates. While one would hope that the coronavirus pandemic will have passed by then, we don’t know that for sure.