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Microsoft To Skip Game Developers’ Conference Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Several tech companies have either postponed or cancelled their events in the wake of rising coronavirus threat that has killed over 2,700 people, and infected nearly 80,000

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Microsoft
Microsoft will host a digital-only event that will feature the majority of its planned game developer sessions and experiences, which will be streamed live and available on demand. Pixabay

After Facebook cancelled its prestigious F8 Developer Conference in San Jose in May, Microsoft has now announced it will skip the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) scheduled to be held here from March 16 to 20, owing to the coronavirus concerns.

“After a close review of guidance by global health authorities and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from participating at Game Developers Conference 2020 in San Francisco,” the company said on its Game Stack Blog on Thursday.

“The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority. Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19),” Microsoft added.

Microsoft will host a digital-only event that will feature the majority of its planned game developer sessions and experiences, which will be streamed live and available on demand.

Other companies who backed out from the gaming conference are Facebook, Unity, Sony and Epic Games.

“Here at Epic we were excited about participating in GDC 2020. Regrettably, uncertainty around health concerns has made it unviable to send our employees, and so we have made the difficult decision to withdraw attendance,” said the company.

The city officials in San Francisco have declared a state of emergency owing to the COVID-19 outbreak that has affected several big tech industry conferences.

Amid the growing fear of coronavirus outbreak in the US, Facebook on Thursday announced the cancellation of its prestigious F8 developer conference.

The annual conference, attended by developers from across the world, was slated to be organised in San Jose on May 5-6.

Microsoft
After Facebook cancelled its prestigious F8 Developer Conference in San Jose in May, Microsoft has now announced it will skip the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) scheduled to be held here from March 16 to 20, owing to the coronavirus concerns. Pixabay

“We plan to replace the in-person F8 event with locally-hosted events, videos and live-streamed content,” Facebook said.

Facebook has already cancelled ‘Global Marketing Summit’ in San Francisco that was scheduled from March 9-12. Over 5,000 participants were expected to attend the event.

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Several tech companies have either postponed or cancelled their events in the wake of rising coronavirus threat that has killed over 2,700 people, and infected nearly 80,000. (IANS)

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Indians Spend More Time on OTT Media, Education and Fitness Apps During Coronavirus Lockdown

With the complete lockdown, social media and messaging apps have also seen an instant boom

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Netflix
OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix have seen an 82.63 per cent increase in time spent, said the report. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 lockdown keeping most people at home, Indians are now spending more time on over-the-top (OTT) media services and educational and fitness apps than ever, a report said on Wednesday.

After the COVID-19 outbreak in India, video conferencing applications like Zoom, Hangouts, Google Duo, and Houseparty have seen over 71 per cent increase in time spent, with more than 104 per cent increase in active user count, said the report by Gurugram-headquartered tech company Bobble AI.

The findings are based upon the anonymised and aggregated insights collected on Bobble AI platforms post and during the COVID-19 outbreak in India, the company said. While video conferencing desktop and mobile application Houseparty has seen a massive increase of 215.97 per cent in time spent, along with a spike of 8,142.55 per cent in active users, Zoom has seen an increase of 141.69 per cent in time spent, with an 85.43 per cent increase in engagement rate and a 2,542.23 per cent increase in active users, the results showed.

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OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix have seen an 82.63 per cent increase in time spent, said the report. The Bobble AI data intelligence and analysis revealed that fitness applications like, Lose Weight at Home, Cure.fit, Home Workout has seen a 39.50 per cent increase in time spent with a 14.72 per cent increase in engagement rate, and 104.53 per cent increase in daily active users.

Coronavirus
With the COVID-19 lockdown keeping most people at home, Indians are now spending more time on over-the-top (OTT) media services and educational and fitness apps than ever, a report said on Wednesday. Pixabay

‘Lose Weight at Home’ app has seen a 46.98 per cent increase in time spent, with a 49.33 per cent increase in active users.
Similarly, e-learning platforms like Udemy, Unacademy and Byjus have seen an 82.73 per cent increase in time spent, along with a whopping 122.62 per cent increase in engagement and 25.12 per cent increase in daily active users, said the report.

With the complete lockdown, social media and messaging apps have also seen an instant boom. Applications like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter have seen a 46.28 per cent hike in time spent, with a 49.23 per cent increase in engagement and a 29.55 per cent increase in daily active users, said the report.

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There is a 57.64 per cent increase in time on WhatsApp, with a 49 per cent increase in engagement, followed by Instagram with a 50.30 per cent increase in engagement rate, it added. (IANS)