Kojima Productions Cancels Its GDC 2020 Attendance Due to Coronavirus Concerns


Kojima Productions, the Japanese studio created by renowned game designer Hideo Kojima after his departure from Konami, announced today its decision to cancel the planned attendance at the yearly Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, California.

Here's the official brief shared on the studio's website.

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Kojima Productions has made the difficult decision to cancel our participation at the 2020 Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to novel coronavirus.
Although much-anticipated, unfortunately this cancellation also includes Hideo Kojima’s session on the 19th and Eric Johnson’s session on the 16th.

Kojima's session was meant to be one of the highlights of GDC 2020. A 'special hour-long design track' titled Death Stranding's Design Philosophy, it would have focused on the game's concept, theme, storytelling, game mechanics, and development, utilizing the overarching keyword of “connection” as a framework.

Kojima Productions isn't the first game development studio to pull out of GDC 2020 for the coronavirus concerns. Sony's PlayStation and Facebook's Oculus already did the same a few days ago. PlayStation also canceled its PAX East 2020 attendance, though Boston mayor Marty Walsh formally asked Sony to reconsider with a letter sent to CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.

We've added some quotes below, via WCVB.

These fears reinforce harmful stereotypes that generations of Asians have worked hard to dismantle. They trigger our worst impulses: to view entire groups of people with suspicion, to close ourselves off, and to miss out on the opportunities and connections our global city provides. Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears.

As a large, international company, you have an opportunity to set a good example. As a leader in technology, you can show that you are motivated by facts, not fear. As a leader in gaming and culture, you can show that you believe in connection, not isolation.