As GamesIndustry reports, the company's statement mirrors the one given for its PAX withdrawal. "We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in [the] Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus)," it reads. "We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future."
GDC will be held in spite of the virus, but Sony is far from the first attendee to drop out. Due to flight restrictions and pressing health concerns, China-based exhibitors have had no choice but to send North America-based staff or push their showings to next year. To help prevent potential contamination, GDC's organizers are also enacting and updating normal influenza protocol. GDC 2020 will see electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, regular wipedowns of frequently touched objects like doorknobs and microphones, more numerous hand sanitizer stations, and "a large number of other incremental cleanliness steps" like daily carpet cleaning for expo areas.
GDC is more industry-minded and less consumer-focused than PAX East, so Sony's absence likely won't be felt as keenly in this case. Still, it's a shame to see yet another event affected by the coronavirus, and it also stings to lose another stage for potential PS5 information.
Here are all the upcoming PS5 games that we know of.