Sony Cancels PAX East Showcase Due To Coronavirus Concerns

The official PlayStation blog announces that Sony is pulling out of PAX East 2020, due to concerns regarding the novel coronavirus and large crowds so The Last of Us Part II and other demos will not be available at the show next week

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Sony Cancels PAX East Showcase Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Sony Cancels PAX East Showcase Due To Coronavirus Concerns

The PlayStation fans who were expecting to play The Last of Us Part II at PAX East will be disappointed to learn that Sony is pulling out of the event, due to increasing concerns about the novel coronavirus. Sony has announced that it’s skipping E3 2020, but the company was planning to have a booth at PAX East with playable demos of upcoming games. The annual event draws tens of thousands of paid attendees to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, where game developers large and small show off their upcoming games. Sony previously announced plans to show 25 games at PAX East.

“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”)

The virus, which has killed over 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 originated in Wuhan, China and has since spread to dozens of other countries. At least one case of infection has been reported in Boston, where PAX East is being held from February 27 to March 1.

Naughty Dog also took to Twitter (Below) to apologize for the disruption. “We’re so sad to have to miss PAX East!” the studio wrote. “We were really looking forward to meeting you and seeing your reactions to the demo. Although we know this makes the wait until May 29 a bit harder, we appreciate your understanding. Don’t worry, we’ll have more to share closer to launch.”

Among the 25 games PlayStation planned to showcase at PAX East were highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusives like “Final Fantasy VII Remake” and “The Last of Us: Part 2.”

Alongside the news of PlayStation pulling out of the show, an official statement from PAX East’s organizers Penny Arcade and Reedpop reaffirms that the show will still go on as planned.

“PAX East 2020 will take place as scheduled,” the statement says, “with enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the US EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID-19 virus.”

The 2020 PAX East event isn’t lacking for big exhibitors, most notably Larian Studios and Baldur’s Gate 3. PAX East will include the first gameplay footage for Baldur’s Gate III, which is a huge get for the event. The absence of Sony and it’s line-up is a big blow to the event, but it’s understandable in the grand scheme of things and the health of both attendees and exhibitors should are the top priority for everyone concerned.

This is also only the latest in a series of events Sony and PlayStation have opted not to attend in the last year and a half, including this year’s E3 in June 2020. However, the company’s stated reasons for skipping other events have been related to its content portfolio and strategy, whereas Sony had originally planned to attend PAX East to show its upcoming games as recently as one week ago.