The Game Developers Conference Summer is still taking place August 4th through 6th, but will now be entirely online, organisers announced in a statement Thursday. When GDC had to nix its live show at the last minute in March, organisers initially planned for a rescheduled in-person event this summer, no doubt hoping that the novel coronavirus pandemic would have stopped putting the brakes on everything by then (to be fair, I think we all were).
“As so many game developers embrace remote working arrangements and online collaboration, we’re inspired to adapt and deliver GDC in a digital format that will be available to everyone with an internet connection, and will work hard to deliver the high-quality content and networking opportunities GDC attendees have come to expect,” the announcement reads.
GDC 2019 drew 29,000 industry professionals and more than 550 exhibitors to San Francisco, a record-breaking crowd in the live show’s more than 30-year history. This year will mark another, more sombre hallmark: the first time GDC forgoes a physical conference entirely. It’s the latest in a string of postponements, rejiggerings, or outright cancellations among tech and gaming industry events this year, including Google I/O, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and the Mobile World Congress.
Organisers were pretty light on details in Thursday’s statement, directing those interested in additional information to look out for upcoming GDC newsletters, so it remains unclear how this summer’s all-digital conference will differ from the developer presentations GDC streamed on Twitch in lieu of its original March event. There was also no word about whether key attendees like Amazon and Blizzard that previously dropped out due to coronavirus concerns will make a return. Other big names in gaming like Sony, Microsoft, and Ubisoft have already announced their shift to online-only events after E3's cancellation.