Kojima Productions Backs Out Of The Game Developers Conference Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Kojima Productions Backs Out Of The Game Developers Conference Due To Coronavirus Concerns
Credit: GameSpot Trailers via YouTube

The latest developer to pull out of the upcoming GDC 2020 conference due to health concerns in the wake of the Coronavirus continuing to threaten many countries.  With recent outbreaks in South Korea and Italy, it’s likely that this easily spread virus is only still in its beginning phase, and it might not end anytime soon.

The studio is best known for having the artistic Hideo Kojima at the helm, resulting in bizarre pieces that challenge the medium of gameplay in their title Death Stranding, which is a strange walking simulator with bouts of dialogue punctuating yet another 50 foot fall down a gentle hill while packages scatter about listlessly.

The cancellation will not only affect Kojima Productions’ presence but also results in the cancellation of two events during the creator’s conference. Hideo Kojima himself was planning on holding a session on the 19th, and Eric Johnson was scheduled for a session on the 16th.

With the speed at which the virus is spread, along with its ease of transferral, it’s likely that this will be only a minor point in regards to overall cancellations affecting the gaming industry, and the world at large.

Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known colloquially as E3, is roughly three and a half months away, scheduled to take place on June 9th through the 11th.  Blizzard has already removed many events occurring in virus-laden regions with the Overwatch League, and without a readily distributed cure (or the virus being eliminated entirely), it’s frankly a liability that many studios aren’t entirely thrilled to contend with.

Gamescom is scheduled to happen two short months after E3, and we may see a similar number of withdrawals from the event if the threat still looms large.

Sony has already announced that they will not be present at E3 this year, although that’s probably due to more to their platform being impressively strong in the modern era to where they don’t feel their attendance at E3 would drastically increase their numbers.

It’s ultimately a reasonable decision, and the vast majority of fans of Kojima Productions would rather everyone stay safe and healthy rather than risk it for an in-person appearance at a large conference.  Rumor abounds that the conference may ultimately be canceled, and E3 might also be in danger of cancelation in fear of contagion and becoming a veritable ground-zero in a modern-day zombie thriller that features an alleged bioweapons lab from China bringing the world to its knees.

The story almost writes itself, and I hear that Norman Reedus has recently wrapped up a project.