Kojima Productions Pulls Out of GDC, Cancels Two Panels on Death Stranding

The developer's statement comes three weeks ahead of the industry conference.

Another developer has pulled out of the annual Game Developer's Conference (GDC), citing concerns over COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus. 

Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions will no longer be attending the conference in San Francisco, which is set for March 16-20. A release on the official Kojima Productions website announced the move. However, the post seems to have been removed at the time of this writing, with every site URL leading to the Death Stranding launch trailer.

Thankfully, the full statement was shared on the company's Twitter account. It reads: 

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

According to the GDC website, Kojima was set to speak on a panel expounding on his "challenges and triumphs" with Death Stranding. Titled "Death Stranding's Design Philosophy," the panel would have been seemingly wide-ranging, delving into everything from story to game mechanics. 

Johnson's panel, "Death Stranding: An AI Postmortem," would have shared with attendees "the problems that the team at Kojima Productions faced supporting AI characters in Death Stranding and the technical solutions developed to solve them, with a focus on navigation in extreme natural environments."

Kojima Productions isn't the only studio that pulled out of GDC. Sony and Oculus both announced late last week that they would not attend the conference over coronavirus worries. This all comes after Sony pulled out of PAX East alongside Square-Enix's Final Fantasy 14 team. 

Both the GDC team and Penny Arcade have reportedly worked to take greater precautions than normal by working closely with local health organizations and closely adhering to CDC and WHO standards ahead of and during both events.

Death Stranding released for the PlayStation 4 on November 8. Though some praised the game for its scope and technical prowess, others derided the game as boring. Though it began life as a PS4 exclusive, Kojima's latest will also release on PC sometime in 2020. It is currently up for pre-order on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Death Stranding and Kojima Productions. It looks like the developer isn't slowing down.

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Games Death Stranding Genres ActionAdventure Platforms
Published Feb. 24th 2020

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