After having to cancel the original event in March due to coronavirus concerns, GDC is officially back on for August as “GDC Summer.”
The event will now take place from August 4 to August 6 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and will feature “new series of microtalks and fireside chats,” according to a post on the event’s website. This means the event isn’t just a complete do-over for the event that was planned in March, but as such, everyone is going to have to re-register to attend and reserve floor space for the new expo. So if you were hoping to attend GDC in March, you’ll need to fill out the new paperwork.
While this new event is happening because the coronavirus pandemic made the original one unsafe, the statement says the event will only happen if things are deemed safe four months from now.
“GDC Summer seeks to provide the game development community a chance to come together in a way that hasn’t currently been possible due to COVID-19,” the statement reads. “Safety remains the GDC organizers’ paramount concern, and the GDC team will continue to monitor the latest information from health officials to ensure a safe and compelling event for everyone at GDC Summer, GDC 2021 and beyond.”
It is also noted that should GDC Summer have to be cancelled for attendee safety, all passes, both attendees and exhibitor, will be refunded in full. But that’s only if the convention is officially cancelled, if you’re not comfortable with being there four months from now but there’s no official cancellation, asking for a refund will require you to pay a cancellation fee, which is non-refundable should GDC Summer not happen after you’ve gotten your money back.
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GDC is one of the several industry events this year that has been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with cancellations or restructurings having rolled out all over the world in the past month. This year’s E3 was cancelled last month, and while the ESA said it would be looking into digital alternatives to the Los Angeles event, it’s since been confirmed that no such digital presentations will be happening. Not by the ESA, at least. The event is back on for next year, but is going to be in some “reimagined” form. Meanwhile, Gamescom, which takes place in Germany in August, is technically still happening as of this writing, but will be leaning into digital presentations should things not be back to normal by then and a cancellation has to be made.
The industry at large is dealing with the chokehold the coronavirus has on the world in different ways. From event cancellations to significant delays like The Last of Us: Part II, every side of video games is having to make changes to work around people self-quarantining or shipping and distribution methods being disrupted.