UPDATE (February 28 2020): Following in the footsteps of Hideo Kojima and his company Kojima Productions, tech and gaming giant Microsoft has also decided to pull out of the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco due to coronavirus concerns. An official statement released by the company reads:
“After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).”
In lieu of its withdrawal from the event, Microsoft will be holding a digital-only event from March 16 to 18. The developer panels and sessions originally to take place at the GDC will be held during the new event instead.
ORIGINAL STORY (February 25, 2020): Kojima Productions is backing out of the 2020 Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Japanese video game development studio announced on its website:
“Kojima Productions has made the difficult decision to cancel our participation at the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to novel coronavirus. Although much-anticipated, unfortunately this cancellation also includes Hideo Kojima’s session on the 19th and Erich Johnson’s session on the 16th.”
Studio founder Hideo Kojima was scheduled to give an hour-long talk about the design philosophy of Death Stranding, expanding on its process “through an analysis of the game’s concept, theme, storytelling, game mechanics, and development, utilizing the overarching keyword of “connection” as a framework.”
The news comes only one day after Square Enix‘s and almost one week after Sony‘s own decisions to back out of PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts due to similar concerns. While PAX East is slated for February 27 to March 1, GDC will take place a few weeks after from March 16 to March 20 in San Francisco.
Elsewhere in gaming, Travis Scott is rumored to be joining Fornite Season 2.