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Sony Pulls out of PAX East

  • If you guessed it’s over the ongoing coronavirus situation, you’re correct.
  • Effectively cancels showing of The Last Of Us Part II at the event.
  • Following Sony’s announcement, PAX East has issued their own statement.

Yesterday we reported that GDC 2020 will be continuing as scheduled despite growing concerns around the ongoing coronavirus outbreak which has now claimed the lives of 2,000 people in the origin country of China and over 75,000 people infected at last estimate. Several esporting events have already postponed their upcoming dates to later points in time in the hopes of reducing spread of the virus, although major events like the GDC and PAX plan on moving forward with increased precautions.

Despite these precautions, Sony has announced that they will not be attending PAX East in an update via the Playstation Blog which reads as follows: 

UPDATE: 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.

The update was included as part of a post made on February 13th, where Sony was rather excited to show off The Last Of Us Part II in a playable format for attendees. The cancellation of their attendance came rather suddenly, and it seems like it may have caught PAX East off guard themselves as it was only after the withdrawal that PAX East organizers issued their own statement on the website to reassure attendees and companies alike that all the necessary precautions are in place to ensure a safe gathering for everyone:

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

We are working closely with the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and following local, state and federal public health guidelines, including those issued by the CDC. For more information on those measures and the virus, please visit the PAX East travel page and the MCCA website.

While we are saddened that Sony will no longer have a presence at PAX East 2020, we look forward to welcoming our friends at Sony to future PAX events and are focused on making PAX East 2020 a successful and enjoyable event for all attendees and exhibitors. The well-being of everyone at PAX – from our attendees and exhibitors to our staff on-site at every show – is of the utmost importance to ReedPOP and Penny Arcade. Across the more than 50 total PAX events around the world, we have provided a positive environment for over one million attendees to celebrate gaming. 

We will continue to work diligently to ensure PAX East 2020 and our other events live up to our high standards and we will proactively keep you up to date with any further developments as we get closer to PAX East 2020.

PAX East runs from February 27th through March 1st. Do you expect any more major departures before the convention kicks off? Let us know down below. Personally, I think Sony jumped the gun a bit on this one but on the flipside, it may not have happened if PAX East had had a formal statement in regards to their precautions readily available beforehand. It’s interesting to see how different events, as well as individual companies, are handling the same situation with different responses if nothing else.