Sony Opts Out of Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Citing Coronavirus Concerns

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Facebook Gaming will also miss this year's event.

Sony is skipping yet another major video game convention as the company revealed Thursday that it will not attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco next month, citing concerns over the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. The announcement follows last month's news that Sony would be skipping Los Angeles' E3 convention in June for the second consecutive year as well as the upcoming PAX East event in Boston later this month, also due to coronavirus concerns.

"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)," a spokesperson for Sony told gamesindustry.biz. "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."

Sony declined further comment when contacted by The Hollywood Reporter.

Facebook, which owns VR company Oculus, has also dropped out of the event. "Out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, our dev partners, and the GDC community, Facebook will not be attending this year’s Game Developer Conference due to the evolving public health risks related to COVID-19," the company wrote Thursday in a blog post. "We still plan to share the exciting announcements we had planned for the show through videos, online Q&As, and more, and will plan to host GDC partner meetings remotely in the coming weeks. We continue to collaborate with UBM, GDC’s parent company, and our partners, and thank them for their efforts."

The outbreak of the coronavirus in China has recently preempted numerous esports events, as well as taken a bite out of global box office totals.

Earlier this month, Nintendo reported that production of its Switch consoles had been delayed due to the outbreak, as did game studio Private Division. Sony (as well as competitor Microsoft) also produces much of its hardware in China.