GDC was postponed last week after companies started to pull out due to concerns about the coronavirus (opens in new tab), which unfortunately left a lot of developers in a jam. GDC passes are being refunded, but there are a great many other costs involved in going to the event, as well as the time and effort spent on preparing demos and presentations.
To alleviate the burden, Wings Interactive has teamed up with several companies to open the GDC Relief Fund. Developers can apply through the website (opens in new tab), with recipients being picked based on how much the postponement is estimated to affect them financially.
"The postponement of GDC at such short notice is completely unprecedented, and we’ve been blown away by how quickly the games industry has come together to help independent game developers suffering hardship as a result," said Wings co-founder Cassia Curran. "More companies are donating to the GDC Relief Fund all the time, and gamedev.world is moreover launching a fundraiser between March 27th and April 3rd with all donations going to the fund. Our hope is that the GDC Relief Fund will make it easier for individuals and small teams that have been disproportionately impacted to deal with the recent developments."
Some of the funding and publishing partners sponsoring the fund are also offering online meetings in the absence of the face-to-face meetings that would have taken place at GDC. Wings Interactive, Raw Fury, Modern Wolf, Versus Evil, 11 bit studios and United Label are all accepting pitches through the application form on the website (opens in new tab).
It's not the only programme that's helping out developers who have been hit hard by the postponement. The Reboot Develop Blue (opens in new tab) games industry conference is now offering 50 passes and 20 Indie Expo slots. Reboot Develop Blue takes place in Dubrovnik in April, but the passes can alternatively be used for Reboot Develop Red in Banff in October.
While a long list of gaming events have been cancelled or postponed, many are still going ahead. The ESA confirmed that E3 2020, which isn't until June, is moving ahead "full speed (opens in new tab)," though the ESA says it's being vigilant and keeping an eye on the situation.