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Coronavirus Fears Undermine Facebook’s F8, Game Developers Conference

Coronavirus tech casualties pile

The novel coronavirus tech impact deepens as additional annual staples of the tech calendar have been affected by its onslaught. Also known as COVID-19, its latest victims are Facebook‘s F8 and the Game Developers Conference (GDC), which have cancelled, modified or postponed event components to deal with the contagious disease.

Facebook has released a statement, where it confirmed that they have “made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of F8 this year”. In its place will be “locally hosted events, videos and live-streamed content”.

A crowd outside the Facebook F8 developers conference in 2017. The 2020 F8 is the latest coronavirus tech casualty.
The Facebook F8 developer conference in 2017, held in San Jose. Image: Anthony Quintano

The social media giant elaborated on its decision, citing their prioritisation of employee, partner and attendee safety while taking into consideration the inclusivity of its international developers who might face difficulties attending.

GDC 2020 had been forced to postponed the conference itself due to several top exhibitors and attendees pulling out over coronavirus concerns. These include Sony, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Unity and Epic.

Held annually since 1988, GDC 2020 was expected to take place between March 16-20th in San Francisco. Instead, organisers have indicated that GDC will be postponed “later in the summer”.

F8 and GDC aren’t the only tech events affected by COVID-19. The world’s biggest mobile trade show held in Barcelona, Spain, Mobile World Congress 2020 was struck off just weeks ago, alongside Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit held in San Francisco.

Other esports events have also been axed, while travel restrictions, business closures and slowdowns have hit technology companies hard. Recent launches by Samsung, Fujifilm, Tesla and Asus have faced supply-chain restrictions and waning demand.

Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

2 thoughts on “Coronavirus Fears Undermine Facebook’s F8, Game Developers Conference

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