San Francisco, where GDC is held, has declared a state emergency over the coronavirus to prepare the city in event of a widespread outbreak. This announcement was followed by major game conventions and Esports tournaments being canceled, including the postponement of GDC.
A pre-recorded show will be streamed on the official GDC Twitch channel.
Previously, organisers of the GDC had mentioned that the conference might be rescheduled to later in the year, but recently announced plans to deliver the conference online instead. In addition to select GDC 2020 talks, virtual award ceremonies for The Independent Games Festival (IGF) and Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) will stream at 5 pm pacific time on March 18.
GDC further announced that there will be no physical gathering or audience, but a pre-recorded show will be streamed on the official GDC Twitch channel. Their website adds: “GDC 2020 speakers also have the opportunity to submit their talk even after the physical event would have occurred, so keep watching GDC Vault and Twitter as more free talks are added!”
The recent changes to the GDC had caused much anxiety. Brendain Drain from Brain and Nerd told PC Gamer, “It was pretty stressful seeing all those companies had started to pull out."
John Ingold, Inkle Studios’ narrative director explains that the sudden change puts on a lot of stress onto small studio developers, as those from other parts of the world take advantage of GDC as a means of getting face-to-face time with the US or Worldwide press.
Related: COVID-19: E3 2020 cancelled
The GDC is the annual video game industry’s premier professional event and it is known as the “largest developer-facing event of its kind in North America”. Last year’s GDC attracted more than 25,000 people at the San Francisco Moscone Convention Center, so this cancelation is a devastating blow.
Featured image credit: @InteractiveDK (Twitter)