Unity CEO John Riccitiello announced today that the company is pulling out of this year’s Game Developers Conference, which will take place in San Francisco from March 16 to March 20.

The game engine maker is just the latest to pull out of the show due to concerns about the spreading of the coronavirus. Other notable companies that have abandoned plans to attend the show include Sony, Facebook, and Electronic Arts.

The virus has been spreading around the world, and fears are growing that a large outbreak could occur in the U.S.. Avoiding large gatherings of people, especially with international travelers attending, could be a good idea for the next several months. But if the coronavirus begins to spread in the U.S., people have to become even more cautious about crowds of all sorts.

So far, GDC’s organizers have insisted that the show will go on. We have asked them for an update on GDC’s status.


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Unity is an important part of every GDC. Its game-making tool is one of the most popular in the world for developers big and small across all platforms. As more companies withdraw from these shows, it could pressure other developers and publishers to keep their employees away from these conventions.

Update 11:15 a.m. Pacific

Microsoft and Epic Games have both announced that they are pulling out of GDC as well. That’s three major withdrawals today, including Unity. We are still waiting to hear from GDC is the event will still happen at all.

Microsoft provided GamesBeat with the following statement:

After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco. The health and safety of employees, players, developers, and our partners around the world is a top priority. We will still celebrate our Microsoft game developer ecosystem by hosting a digital-only event March 16 to 18, where we’ll share the majority of programs and sessions planned for GDC. Hope you will join us on Mixer and at Microsoft.com.

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