Develop:Brighton is postponed until November 2020.
Despite assertions last week that the event still hoped to proceed, Develop:Brighton is the latest show to be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Develop:Brighton will now take place from November 2nd-4th with the Develop:Star Awards taking place on November 3rd. Both events will take place at the original venue, Brighton Hilton Metropole.
“We’re obviously disappointed to be making this decision but it wasn’t a difficult one given the current uncertainty. The health and wellbeing of everyone is paramount,” said Tandem Events managing director Andy Lane.
“By moving the event to November, it means the show will go on and we can look forward to seeing everyone in Brighton, albeit a few months later.”
Bethesda boss Todd Howard is still set to deliver the headline keynote at Develop:Brighton 2020, although “changes may be made to the list of announced speakers over the next few weeks as their availability on these new dates is established”. Howard will hopefully open the second day of the conference and, later that evening, be recognised for his outstanding achievements by receiving the 2020 Develop Star award. Last year’s recipient was Hello Game co-founder, Sean Murray.
Conference passes that have already been purchased will automatically carry forward to the new dates. If you’re now unable to attend, you’re advised to contact the organisers directly.
Develop:Brighton 2019 was attended by more industry professionals than ever before, with attendance up a record-breaking 21 per cent year-on-year. The event welcomed 2871 delegates across 100+ sessions and ten tracks at the conference, as well as 2,800+ additional meetings that were additionally set up through the bespoke Meet@Develop meeting scheduler.
In response to the pandemic, E3 2020 has been cancelled, as has EGX Rezzed, GDC, and both Mojang and Electronic Arts have cancelled scheduled live events. Gamescom, however, is still planning to go ahead. BAFTA has confirmed it’s revising the format on its upcoming Games Awards in light of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), too.
Bungie, EA, Nintendo and now Rockstar have all implemented homeworking to minimise staff exposure to the virus whilst Pokémon Go developer Niantic has made changes to the game to enable players to continue participating even whilst in self-isolation. The increase in people working from home and/or self-isolating, however, has put a strain on online services like Xbox Live and Nintendo Switch Online.
A number of publishers have teamed up to create GDC Relief Fund to assist indie devs who may have lost money on paying in advance for the now-cancelled GDC.