This week,GDC’s future remains uncertain, a recent study shines a spotlight on the success of the esports industry, and Microsoft officially shared specs for the upcoming Xbox Series X.

List of GDC 2020 dropouts grows longer over coronavirus concerns
Microsoft, EA, Epic Games, Unity, and Kojima Productions announced they are pulling out of GDC 2020 due to growing concerns over the coronavirus. The news comes days after the mayor of San Francisco declared a state of emergency in an abundance of caution for the wellbeing of the city’s inhabitants and visitors. Despite a total of seven companies benching the conference, GDC is moving forward as planned, and event organizers are being “extremely proactive” to keep attendees safe, notes The Verge. A full list of GDC backouts can be viewed on CNET.

New study predicts esports will top $1 billion in 2020
A recent study from marketing intelligence company Newzoo predicts that the global esports industry will exceed $1 billion for the first time in history this year, with China being the largest market in terms of revenue. The study also suggests the global esports audience, or those who tune in to streams at least once a month, will continue to grow over time, reaching upwards of 495 million by the end of this year. VentureBeat noted that Newzoo has been criticized in the past due to its “hype” around esports, but The Esports Insider remained optimistic, noting the report provides “great insight” into the industry.

Microsoft unveils specs for the Xbox Series X
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer released an official statement this week unveiling specs for the upcoming Xbox Series X. The console will be backwards compatible with all previous Xbox generation games, will have enhanced Raytracing functionality, and will come equipped with software that will enable it to run four times faster than the Xbox One X. Windows Central claims the specs are “promising,” but notes consumers should wait for Sony to release official details for the PS5 before making a decision on which console to purchase. The full list of features can be found on Forbes and CNET.