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Sony and Facebook withdraw from GDC due to coronavirus concerns

They will share their announcements via online videos instead.
Nicole Lee, @nicole
02.20.20
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Mobile World Congress 2020 isn't the only trade show affected by COVID-19, otherwise known as the new coronavirus disease. Facebook has just announced that it will withdraw its presence from the annual Game Developer's Conference this year. In doing so, it will pull both Facebook Gaming and Oculus booths and have advised all employees to not attend the show.

A Facebook spokesperson sent in this statement: "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. 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."

COVID-19 has had a big effect on the tech industry so far. Due to coronavirus concerns, MWC 2020 was cancelled, Apple has warned of iPhone supply shortages and Sony has pulled out of PAX East.

Update 4:15pm ET: Sony has announced that it too will be pulling out from GDC. Here's the company's statement:

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.

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