February 22, 2020 – Oculus, on behalf of Facebook, has announced this week that in light of the recent global coronavirus outbreak, it will not be able to participate at this years Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.
GDC brings together an international community of game developers to reflect on the industry’s momentum and look forward to its increasingly vibrant future. However, Oculus has stated that “Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community as a whole, Facebook’s AR/VR and Gaming teams won’t be attending this year’s Game Developers Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19.”
The company will be removing its booth footprint and is also advising all its employees to refrain from traveling to the show, but has stated that it does plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks. Facebook is long-term partners with UBM, GDC’s parent company, and the company has stated that it will continue to collaborate with UBM in their efforts to support the game industry and gaming community.
The announcement on the Oculus web page continued: “We’re committed to building the future of immersive gaming alongside VR developers—and sharing that journey with the entire VR community. We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show, but in a digital format with videos, online Q&As, and more.”
Overall, the company remarked that this was a difficult decision, but believes that it is making the right call at this time. Oculus and Facebook plan to be at GDC next year and beyond, and the company has stated that it will have more to share in the weeks ahead.
This is not the first such announcement of this sort to have been made in recent weeks due to heightened fears of the spread of coronavirus as a result of large conferences, which generally draw a substantial number of exhibitors and attendees from mainland China, where the heart of the outbreak is located. GSMA, which runs Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona each year, announced in a statement on the MWC website last week that it has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 in response to the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
GDC 2020 is being held from March 16-20 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
Image credit: GDC 2020/EXPOCAD/Auganix