Facebook F8 Conference Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Fears
Facebook has confirmed the cancellation of the annual F8 developer conference, citing coronavirus concerns. The F8 conference was originally slated to take place on May 5th and 6th this year. As a result, Facebook will cancel the “in-person component” of the developer conference which was scheduled to take place in San Jose, CA and it will replace the main F8 conference with videos, locally hosted events as well as live-streamed content.
Facebook’s director for developer platforms and programs Konstantinos Papamiltiadis explained in a blog post that the decision to cancel the developer conference came out of the need for the company to “prioritize the health and safety” of its developer partners, employees as well as everyone involved in putting on the F8 conference.
He further explained that Facebook is exploring other options that will enable the conference to proceed but concluded that it was important for Facebook to host an all-inclusive event and that it didn’t feel right for Facebook to hold the conference without the attendance of its international developers.
A Growing Trend
Several major tech/XR events have been cancelled so far due to the coronavirus fears including the Mobile World Congress in Spain which was cancelled in February due to the same fears after several companies pulled out from the event. The upcoming GDC conference has already seen multiple major companies that were expected to attend pulling out. Some of the companies that have so far cancelled their participation in the GDC 2020 include Facebook, Sony, Unity, Kojima Productions, Electronic Arts as well as Microsoft’s Game Stack team. However, the GDC 2020 conference hasn’t been cancelled yet and is still scheduled to take place next month.
The Facebook Developer Conference has grown into a major platform for virtual reality update and news. During the 2019 F8 conference, the pre-orders for Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest went live.