PlayStation Cancels PAX East Attendance Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Originally scheduled to attend PAX East in a big way, having The Last of Us Part II publicly playable for the first time, PlayStation is canceling its PAX East attendance amid growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

Today, Sony Interactive Entertainment made the decision to cancel its participation at PAX East in Boston this year due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”). We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.

This cancelation comes just over a week before the show is scheduled to start on February 27, 2020. At this time, it’s unknown what the lack of PlayStation attendance means for third-party games that were set to be a part of Sony’s booth. Games like DOOM Eternal, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Persona 5 Royal were all listed, but it’s possible that their individual publishers and developers could still be showcasing those games in some capacity elsewhere on the show floor.

It’s a pretty safe bet that we won’t see any PlayStation-exclusive games at the show now that Sony has canceled its PAX East plans. Those include:

  • Dreams
  • The Last of Us Part II
  • Marvel’s Iron Man VR (PS VR)
  • MLB The Show 20
  • Nioh 2
  • Paper Beast (PS VR)
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds
  • The Room VR: A Dark Matter (PS VR)
  • Space Channel 5 (PS VR)

Concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak have been spreading, both with its immediate impact to events like PAX East and Overwatch League tournaments, and the potential long-term impacts of the Chinese production and manufacture of the next-gen consoles. Some analysts, however, have said they don’t think the coronavirus will delay PS5 production at all, estimating that it will have passed by the time full manufacturing of the console gets underway later this year. The Taipei Game Show was also postponed due to the outbreak, but we haven’t seen any significant impacts on US events and expos until now.

The coronavirus outbreak has largely been centered on mainland China, with more than 75,000 cases of infection and over 2,000 confirmed deaths from the virus. Though China has been at the center of the outbreak, it’s been reported in at least 27 countries, with some of those external cases also leading to the deaths of the afflicted. While there’s no direct concern regarding the US or PAX East, Sony’s decision to cancel its PAX East attendance is an abundance of caution amid growing concerns that large gatherings of people from all over the world could continue the spread of the virus.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]