With the increasing casualties and growing concerns due to the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19), Facebook has announced that it has cancelled the in-person component of F8 Conference this year. The company says that it prioritises the health and safety of its developer community and employees, and hence, decided to hold local events, videos and live-streamed content.
‘This was a tough call to make...We explored other ways to keep the in-person part of F8, but it’s important to us to host an inclusive event and it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance,’ the company said in a statement. The company says that it will share additional details on its plans for F8 local events and live streaming in the coming weeks.
Facebook also announced that it has donated $500,000, a portion of F8 ticket sales, to an organisation working to diversify the tech industry. This is double the amount that the company donates every year. ‘Working with the next generation of developers is one of the highlights of what we do -- and this year, we will still provide an F8-inspired experience for those students in lieu of hosting them at the event itself,’ it added.
In another Coronavirus-related news, Microsoft has announced that it will not participate in the Game Developers Conference (GDC) to be held in San Francisco. The Xbox-maker says that the decision has been taken after a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution. ‘The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority,’ the company said in its Game Stack blog.
Microsoft will now host a digital-only event on March 16-18 on www.microsoft.com/gamestack. This event will feature the majority of the company’s planned game developer sessions and experiences, which will be streamed live and available on demand.
At this event, the company will showcase the latest cloud and game development technologies through technical talks and developer demos, hold panel discussions on game designs, the increasing role of online services, next gen hardware, and the future of game streaming. Gamers will also have a chance to take behind-the-scenes look into design and development decisions made by the creators of Minecraft and Gears of War.