Electronic Arts counts as yet another company cancelling its Game Developers Conference plans. Though news initially broke that EA would limit its attendance at the event in March, the publisher has since backed out entirely. As with other companies that have axed GDC plans, EA’s decision is based on concerns over the continuous spread of coronavirus. EA’s participation elsewhere will also be affected, with the publisher noting an intention of “limiting attendance to other events.”
News of EA’s GDC withdrawal originally surfaced thanks to a LinkedIn post from Alex Sherer, Ad Product Development Specialist at EA. At the time, Sherer reportedly received an internal message stating the publisher would only limit its GDC presence. However, the company has since shared the following statement with USgamer, cancelling all participation outright:
Having closely followed the global situation with Coronavirus and with the recent escalation of cases in new regions, we have decided to take additional steps to protect the wellbeing of our employees including the restriction of all non-essential travel. As a result we are also cancelling our official participation at GDC and limiting attendance to other events. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will adjust guidelines to our employees as we feel is appropriate.
EA joins a handful of other companies to back out of this year’s GDC, which begins on March 16th. Yesterday, Kojima Production announced it would no longer attend the San Francisco-based event. Both Sony and Facebook cancelled their respective GDC plans late last week.
As of yesterday, there are 53 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States. While this may not seem like an issue worthy of so much caution, the virus has spread far and wide elsewhere around the globe. In turn, the World Health Organization recently deemed the outbreak a global health emergency. Considering that employees of major gaming and tech corporations would have to fly in from all over the world to attend GDC, the precautions from certain entities does indeed seem warranted.
[Source: Electronic Arts via USgamer]