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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Coronavirus: Facebook cancels F8, Microsoft pulls out of Game Developers Conference

The outbreak of Coronavirus continues to affect the tech industry as Facebook announced it will cancel its F8 Developer Conference 2020 over concerns about Covid-19. Meanwhile, Microsoft has pulled out from the Game Developers Conference.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 28, 2020 2:25:29 pm
Facebook, coronavirus, Facebook F8 2020 cancelled, Facebook F8 cancelled coronavirus, Game developers conference, Microsoft withdraws from Game Developer Conference, coronavirus People wearing masks to prevent contracting the coronavirus wait in line to buy masks at a department store in Seoul, South Korea February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Heo Ran

The outbreak of Coronavirus continues to affect the tech industry as Facebook announced it will cancel its F8 Developer Conference 2020 over concerns about Covid-19. Meanwhile, Microsoft has pulled out from the Game Developers Conference which is scheduled to take place in San Francisco next month.  Other companies to withdraw from the event include Facebook and Sony’s PlayStation.

The novel coronavirus disease was discovered in Wuhan, China in December and it has spread to 47 countries. So, far more than 82,000 people have been infected and over 2,800 are dead. On January 30, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global health emergency over Covid-19 outbreak.

Thanks to coronavirus outbreak, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which is one of the biggest annual trade shows for telecom companies and mobile phone manufacturers, was also cancelled. MWC takes place in Barcelona, Spain in February each year and is attended by some of the world’s biggest telecom companies, including many from China.

Coronavirus effect: Facebook cancels F8 Developer Conference 2020

The F8 is a major annual event for the company, which was attended by over 5,000 developers, creators and entrepreneurs from around the world. Facebook’s F8 2020 was scheduled to take place on May 5 and 6 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

“This was a tough call to make — F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world — but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on,” Facebook’s director of developer platforms and programs Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, said in a statement.

At its F8 conference last year, Facebook rolled out a number of changes around privacy for its core products including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. In 2018, Facebook’s new dating service was announced. In the past, the company has showcased more ambitious technologies it is working on at it annual developer conference, which could let people type straight from their brains and another that could allow people to understand and feel words through their skin or via touch.

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Papamiltiadis added that Facebook has explored “other ways”, which will be a combo of locally hosted events, videos and live streamed content, for its community to get together.

Coronavirus effect: Microsoft, Facebook, PlayStation pull out of Game Developers Conference

Major tech companies including Microsoft have withdrawn from the Game Developers Conference, which was scheduled for March 16 – March 20 over Covid-19 concerns. Instead, Microsoft is hosting a digital-only event from March 16 to March 18 where it will stream live its planned game developer sessions on http://www.microsoft.com/gamestack.

“The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19),” Microsoft said in a statement.

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