Kojima Productions, the game development studio headed by industry auteur Hideo Kojima, has announced that it will not be attending the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to “increasing concerns related to coronavirus.” The cancelation includes plans by Hideo Kojima and Eric Johnson to hold talks covering various aspects of Death Stranding, the studio’s first title.
The coronavirus has been impacting the games industry across the board, from the production of consoles and hardware like the Valve Index to the release of games such as The Outer Worlds for the Nintendo Switch. Kojima Productions isn’t the first time a company has changed its mind about attending a convention, as Sony and Facebook both dropped out of PAX East and GDC over similar concerns.
After the cancelations by Sony and Facebook, GDC issued a statement saying that they take the health and safety of the community very seriously, and have followed all the appropriate steps to ensure the well being of people who attend the event. This doesn’t seem to have been enough to convince Kojima Productions that the potential risk of staff health is worth it.
We would expect to see similar cancelations throughout the industry over the coming months, as the coronavirus continues to spread, making it necessary to take strong and stronger precautions. It goes without saying that when it comes to a disease like a coronavirus, packing thousands of people into a small space has some apparent risks attached.
GDC has yet to comment on this new cancellation.