The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus , also known as COVID-19, has led to a number of highly anticipated gaming events being indefinitely postponed or cancelled outright. However, all hope is not lost for Game Development Conference (GDC) 2020, as its organizers announced a concrete rescheduling date.
The event, which has been re-christened "GDC Summer," will now take place from August 4-6, 2020, in its original location of San Francisco California. Previously, GDC had been scheduled from March 16-20, but was cancelled when social distancing and quarantine policies were put into effect to combat the spread of the virus.
GDC organizers first announced their decision to postpone the event in late February. The decision came "after close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world," a spokesperson for the event said.
The second statement
Prior to the official statement, rumors abounded that many big names in gaming, including Amazon, Blizzard, Epic Games, Microsoft and Sony, had removed themselves from the schedule. Whether or not said companies will appear at the rescheduled GDC has not been confirmed, but general attitudes are hopeful.
Although "GDC Summer" will be over a full day shorter than the originally planned March event, organizers still promise a jam-packed schedule. GDC Summer is stated to include roundtable discussions with industry professionals, seminars on how to advance your career in the games industry, and many as yet unrevealed offerings.
In addition, several of GDC's initially planned talks were streamed on their original date and made available to viewers via popular online service Twitch.tv. These streams, dubbed "Virtual Talks," included the presentation of the highly anticipated Game Developers Choice Awards, generally considered to be the highlight of the entire event.
Virtual Talks featured over 20 informative seminars on topics such as LGBTQ+ representation in games, overcoming creative block, and preparing your game for cross-platform availability. Particularly relevant to the world's current situation was a talk entitled "Mental Health State of the Industry: Past, Present and Future," which discussed the importance of mental health advocacy in the gaming industry.
Several of these Virtual Talks, including "Mental Health State of the Industry," can be watched on GDC's official Twitch channel, found here. This channel also offers gameplay footage of several Choice Awards nominees, including Outer Wilds and Baba is You.
A full schedule for August's "GDC Summer" will be announced at a later date.