Microsoft Corp. said it will withdraw from the Game Developers Conference scheduled for next month in San Francisco because of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the latest gaming company to pull out of the event.

The conference, scheduled for March 16 - March 20, is a key annual event for engineers and artists who build video games. The company will instead stream its planned sessions on its website at

“The health and safety of players, developers, employees, and our partners around the world is our top priority,” the company said. “Especially as the world is experiencing growing public health risks associated with coronavirus.”

Facebook Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation have also opted to skip the conference. Microsoft on Wednesday said it will fall short of sales forecasts for the current quarter because supply chain disruptions in China have hurt its Windows and personal computer businesses.

In recent days, anxiety has mounted about the spread outside of China, where the virus, called Covid-19, originated. For the first time, more cases were reported in countries other than China in the past 24 hours, the World Health Organization said late Wednesday, a significant development as new cases spread around the globe.