When event organizers postponed GDC 2020 in San Francisco from March to (apparently) an August 4-6 makeup event, development teams all over the world suddenly found themselves scrambling to make up for missed professional networking time, lost opportunities with potential players, and in many circumstances, unrecoverable travel investments. As E3 and other events follow suit and business nearly everywhere grinds to a halt, the usual advantages of working in close geographic proximity to traditional industry hotspots have all but vanished. This was the topic of my discussion with Robert Hubert, the Los Angeles-based development director responsible for Brutal Grounds, an upcoming top-down competitive shooter from AGOG Entertainment.
By now you’ve heard GameStop attempted to stay open nationwide throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, going as far as to provide store leaders with a memo to provide police if they attempt to enforce lockdowns ordered in many areas. While Ars Technica reports California stores are closing to comply with a state-wide “shelter in place” order, it’s clear GameStop’s corporate office will fight this tooth-and-nail, and it’s impossible to know how much damage is already done.