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Facebook cancels annual conference as virus fears rattle firms – Aljazeera.com

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Facebook Inc is cancelling its annual developer conference due to fears over the coronavirus, as growing concerns about the economic effects of the global outbreak drove stocks in the United States to tumble for a sixth straight day.

Facebook’s F8 conference, which attracted 5,000 people from around the world last year, was scheduled to be held on May 5 and 6 in San Jose, California.

Also on Thursday, Microsoft Corp said it still plans to hold its own developer conference in Seattle later in May but withdrew from a gaming conference scheduled for next month in San Francisco, joining a host of multinationals in calling off corporate events and grounding employees from travel as a result of the outbreak.

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Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, Facebook’s director of platform partnerships, said that instead of the F8 event the company would organise “a combo of locally hosted events, videos and livestreamed content”.

A Facebook spokesman told Reuters the company has imposed temporary restrictions on business travel for its employees to mainland China, South Korea and Italy, where a significant number of cases have been reported.

Smaller companies are taking action, too. Santa Monica, California-based skincare products seller Beautycounter said on Thursday it cancelled a three-day leadership development conference scheduled for San Francisco’s convention centre next week and will instead hold a one-day online gathering.

Microsoft likewise plans to hold a digital-only event from March 16-18 in place of the Game Developers Conference. Facebook earlier pulled out of the gaming conference and called off its 4,000-participant global marketing conference, also a San Francisco-based event.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday reported a coronavirus case of unknown origin in northern California, where some of the world’s biggest tech companies are based. It is potentially the first incident of the virus spreading within US communities.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday that the state is monitoring more than 8,400 people for coronavirus symptoms after arrival on commercial flights, but California lacks test kits and is being held back by federal testing rules.

Exhibitor exodus

The South by Southwest music and tech festival, set to be held in Austin, Texas, in March, said in a statement that it has seen “a handful” of cancellations related to the virus, but the event will proceed as planned.

Earlier this month, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the annual telecoms industry gathering in Barcelona, was called off after a mass exodus by exhibitors due to fears over the coronavirus.

AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and International Business Machines Corp earlier withdrew from the RSA cybersecurity conference taking place this week in San Francisco, citing coronavirus concerns.

Job search engine Indeed, which is based in Austin but has offices worldwide, told Reuters on Thursday that it had restricted some international travel, temporarily closed some offices and recommended some people work from home as part of its response to the coronavirus.

“While for the most part it remains business as usual, we’re continually evaluating the crisis and adjusting tactics based on evolving information to keep our workforce safe,” an Indeed spokeswoman said.

Alphabet Inc’s Google said its developer conference is still planned for May 12 to 14, but both Google and Microsoft said they were monitoring coronavirus developments.

Microsoft on Wednesday said it was unlikely to meet its fiscal third-quarter guidance for its Windows and Surface hardware business unit because of hits to the electronics supply chain, echoing similar statements from Apple Inc and HP.

Facebook said earlier this month that it was expecting the outbreak to affect production of its Oculus virtual reality headsets, which are produced in China.

Apple typically holds its developer conference in June, but has not yet made any announcements about dates or the venue. It did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company last week said it would miss revenue targets for the quarter ending in March because of the virus, but Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook sounded an optimistic note on Thursday.

“It feels to me that China is getting the coronavirus under control,” Cook said in an excerpt of an interview released by Fox Business Network on Thursday, adding that iPhone components come from the US as well as China.

Cook told the network that iPhone factories in China have reopened and are in “phase three of the ramp mode” of returning to normal operations.

Chipmaker Intel Corp said this week that it is banning business-related travel to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Italy.

The company also said it is requiring workers returning from those countries to avoid working in its facilities for two weeks after they return, and asked workers who experience coronavirus-like symptoms to seek medical attention and not return to its facilities until they are well.

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Armored Core VI Announced, Which Isn’t A Souls Game

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ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON – Reveal Trailer

I have not played an Armored Core game in a very long time, and even then I was never the biggest fan. But this looks cool as hell. It’s coming in 2023 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and PC.

Here’s some official words:

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ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON will offer a game experience based on the mech game know-how FromSoftware cultivated over 25 years of developing games in the series, but now introducing groundbreaking gameplay found in the developer’s recent action games. The new ARMORED CORE title will combine these elements into thrilling action that only mechas can provide. The game promises to be a unique entry in the mech action game genre.

In ARMORED CORE VI FIRES OF RUBICON, players will be able to freely move through massive three-dimensional environments with rapid maneuverability while experiencing visceral vehicular combat. Signature to FromSoftware’s carefully crafted game design, the game will feature challenging and memorable battles along with a fulfilling progression system and deep gameplay, all of it now powered by assembling mechs and going into combat with massive bosses. Players will recognize the sense of satisfaction and achievement when they overcome a difficult situation and relish momentary victory, and perhaps a boost to their standing, before encountering the next challenge.

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After Heated Battle, Genshin Impact Wins Player’s Voice at The 2022 Game Awards

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Genshin Impact has won the Player’s Voice award at The Game Awards 2022, following an intense battle against Elden Ring and Sonic Frontiers.

Unlike other awards bestowed at The Game Awards, which are primarily determined by members of the press and other influential individuals in the industry, the Player’s Voice category is 100% fan-voted. Earlier this week, ahead o the show, the results projected that Genshin Impact would edge out both Sonic Frontiers and Elden Ring. Other nominees for the Player’s Voice category include God of War: Ragnarok and Stray.

Although Elden Ring, in particular, did not get selected, FromSoftware’s latest project did go home with a few awards, including Best Art Direction and Best Game Direction. For more on the winners from this year’s Game Awards, check out our roundup that features the nominees and winners of each category.

Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

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Super Mario Bros. Movie "Mushroom Kingdom" Official Reveal

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When he’s not paying off a loan to Tom Nook, Liam likes to report on the latest Nintendo news and admire his library of video games. His favourite Nintendo character used to be a guitar-playing dog, but nowadays he prefers to hang out with Judd the cat.

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