On LinkedIn, Electronic Arts employees are stating that the company us advising them to avoid the upcoming Game Developer Conference like the plague (ha). It's the latest company to pull out of the 2020 Game Developer Conference, the veritable meet and greet of the creative industry that allows indie developers to rub elbows with some of the greatest artistic minds in the industry. \n \nWhile the event is known for its networking potential, many big-name development studios and publishers have publically opted out due to safety concerns with the Coronavirus continuing to run rampant and spread like wildfire. \n \nhttps:\/\/twitter.com\/cymcyms\/status\/1232125603366621185 \n \nGDC is looking to be relatively vacant this year, and the number of events that may soon follow could be catastrophic, but the big studios aren't the ones likely to suffer, as there's a wealth of mediums for connecting with their audience. \n \nInstead, the likely casualties of the ever-sparse population will be indie developers that are frankly desperate to collaborate with like-minded individuals, and get the word out about their projects that they continue to grind out in relative obscurity. \n \nThese smaller developers are risking a lot already, with 9-5 careers often being placed on hold during the development to see if it's plausible to bring their dreams to life in a financially viable manner. \n \nBeyond GDC, many have also similarly withdrawn from PAX East 2020, which is slated to arrive in a couple of days, while the virus is still running rampant. Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) could likely be affected by the virus, along with Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show. \n \nWith news of infected citizens occasionally attempting to infect others, every gathering is a viable concern for companies. As the situation continues to play out in a strikingly similar manner to World of Warcraft's Corrupted Blood incident, many are left weighing the balance of possibly infecting their staff, or simply not having a presence at all. \n \nThere have been rumors circulating about many of the game conferences and conventions simply being canceled by the event organizers in an attempt to protect everyone, as Blizzard has done repeatedly with their Overwatch League. Thus far, however, there has been zero developments regarding the event organizers canceling and offering refunds to everyone who has already purchased a ticket. \n \nSome may be theorizing that the Coronavirus with a current 10% mortality rate is exaggerated, or the money from tickets may have already been spent. What is sure, however, is that these conventions could quickly turn into a ground-zero event for spreading the disease farther than is otherwise feasible.