GDC 2020 Going Forward, With Coronavirus Precautions

GDC is still slated for March.

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The outbreak of the coronavirus has created concerns surrounding conferences and other large gatherings, most recently leading Facebook to cancel a conference in San Francisco. The Game Developers Conference, which also takes place every year in San Francisco, has officially announced it will go forward as planned--with some precautionary measures in place.

According to an update on the GDC site, travel restrictions will prevent China-based exhibitors and attendees from attending this year. Some China-based exhibitors may be present using North American staff, but that's only about 10 out of the 550 companies being hosted at the event.

In addition, the update says that the Moscone Center where GDC is hosted will augment its usual flu season cleanliness protocols to include some new measures. That includes disinfecting electrostatic sprayers in high-traffic areas, more frequent wipedowns of objects like doorknobs and microphones, more hand sanitizer stations, and daily carpet sanitation. GDC organizers are also following guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and working with San Francisco's travel bureau on cleanliness protocols for hotels.

Finally, it suggests a few common-sense steps that attendees can use to keep themselves safe: wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap is not available, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if you have not washed your hands, stay in your hotel or home if you are sick, and dispose of used tissues.

So far more than 1,700 people have died, most of them in mainland China. In terms of the video game industry, Nintendo Switch supply could be impacted by manufacturing supply breaks from the virus, and The Outer Worlds on Switch was delayed. A PUBG event in Berlin was also postponed. GDC will begin on March 16.

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