Enlarge /. Guess what won't be seen at one of the largest US gaming gatherings?
One of the biggest names in gaming won't be on one of the biggest US conventions next week, as Sony unexpectedly pulled out of PAX East today and raised concerns about the corona virus.
Sony Interactive Entertainment announced today its withdrawal from the event as an update to an earlier blog post promoting the planned placement of the exhibition.
"We thought this was the safest option as the situation changes daily," the update said. "We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our primary concern."
PAX East 2020 starts on February 27th – next Thursday – in Boston. Sony planned to have 25 playable demo games at PAX East, including hands-on experience with the highly anticipated The Last of Us Part II. The PAX booth should be the first time that the public has tried a portion of the game that was originally scheduled for this week before being moved to May.
Kyle Marsden-Kish, PAX event director at ReedPOP, said in a statement that PAX East will have "improved cleaning and hygiene" throughout the event, but otherwise the show will go on. "Although we are sad that Sony will no longer be present at PAX East 2020," he added, "we look forward to welcoming our friends at Sony to future PAX events and are focused on PAX East 2020 to make it a successful and entertaining event. " all participants and exhibitors. "
To date, more than 75,200 cases of novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 have been diagnosed worldwide. The vast majority of these cases – more than 74,200 – are in China. Of the remaining approximately one thousand, around 60 percent are on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess. The other 40 percent are spread across 25 nations, including 15 confirmed diagnoses in the United States.
China is of course a stronghold of technology manufacturing, and concerns about the outbreak delays and cancellations have spread to the technology and gaming sectors. Organizers of the 2020 game developer conference, due to start in San Francisco next month, said last week that approximately 10 of the 550 exhibitors were forced to cancel their planned participation due to travel restrictions related to COVID-19. In addition, participants from China, who accounted for approximately 2 percent of the total number of participants, had to withdraw due to travel restrictions.
The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was completely canceled last week after several key exhibitors – including Sony, Amazon, LG, Ericsson and Nvidia, all of whom raised concerns about COVID 19 – withdrew their participation plans.