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Amazon, Blizzard withdraw from GDC

Novel coronavirus concerns keeps more big names away from next month's conference

Original story, February 28, 2020: Amazon is joining the list of major companies skipping out on next month's Game Developers conference because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the company said today.

"Due to the continued concerns about COVID-19, Amazon will withdraw from exhibiting and participating in Game Developer's Conference 2020," the company told GamesIndustry.biz.

"We've reached this decision after much consideration, as the health and safety of our employees, customers, and partners are our top priority."

Sony and Facebook were the first to withdraw from the show last week, and they were soon followed by Electronic Arts and Kojima Productions.

On Tuesday, the city of San Francisco declared a local health emergency, and the pace of companies pulling out of the show picked up.

Unity Technologies, Microsoft, Epic Games, Iron Galaxy, Wooga, and now Amazon have all dropped out since yesterday.

As of this morning, GDC organizers still planned to go ahead with the show, and assured attendees that their health and safety "are a top priority."

Update, February 28, 2020: Blizzard has similarly announced its absence from the show.

"Blizzard will no longer attend this year's @Official_GDC due to growing concerns related to COVID-19. The health and well-being of our teams is our highest priority," the company said on Twitter.

In a follow-up tweet, Blizzard said the conference has always been an important event for its developers and it hopes to return in the future.

Along with the thinning ranks of publishers and platform holders, some gaming press outlets have also decided not to participate in GDC.

This morning, Polygon editor-in-chief Chris Plante confirmed the site won't be going to this year's show.

"We prioritize our team's health and well-being above everything else, and don't want to take unnecessary risk," Plante said.

Hours later, Game Informer editor-in-chief Andy McNamara today said the site's staff unanimously decided not to attend GDC due to health concerns.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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