Kojima Productions has announced it will not be attending the 2020 Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this March over concerns about the coronavirus. There were two highly anticipated talks centered around Death Stranding (opens in new tab) scheduled for the conference.
The official announcement was made on the Kojima Productions Twitter (opens in new tab) account, with a link to the same quote posted on its blog. It reads:
"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 Eric Johnson’s session on the 16th."
Hideo Kojima's March 19 session was called 'Death Stranding's Design Philosophy' and was set to dive deep into the game's concept, theme, storytelling and more. It has recently been removed from the site. Eric Johnson's March 16 session, 'AI Summit: 'Death Stranding': An AI Postmortem' (opens in new tab) is still up on the GDC site as of publication. The session was meant to "explore the unique AI challenges faced during the development of Kojima Productions’ debut title, Death Stranding. Set in an Iceland-inspired, post-apocalyptic United States, a core focus of AI development was simply finding a way to support agents that could reliably and believably traverse the game’s unapologetically unforgiving landscape."
Kojima Productions' GDC cancellation in the face of novel coronavirus is becoming increasingly more common in the industry as of the past few weeks. As previously reported (opens in new tab), Sony pulled out of PAX East last week, despite promising an unusually lengthy floor demo of The Last of Us Part 2 (opens in new tab), and pulled out of GDC the next day. Square Enix recently pulled out of PAX East, as well, and the Taipei Game Show was cancelled (opens in new tab) in its entirety back in January due to coronavirus fears.
The show is still set to go on (and we'll be there), so check out the best PAX East 2020 demos (opens in new tab) to check out.