Image of the crowds at PAX East with the logo emblazoned across the image

Sony withdraws from PAX East due to coronavirus fears

Sony has confirmed it’s pulled out of PAX East.

Just a few days after confirming the company would be at the convention with several of its upcoming games, including Naughty Dog’s highly anticipated The Last of Us Part 2, Sony revealed “the safest option” was to “cancel its participation”, adding “the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern”.

“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”),” Sony said by way of an update on the PlayStation blog

“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.”

“We’re so sad to have to miss PAX East!” added Naughty Dog via Twitter. “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.”

The world’s biggest mobile phone show, Mobile World Congress (MWC), has been cancelled after organiser GSMA said that fears concerning the coronavirus outbreak had made it “impossible” for the event to proceed. Despite calls from Barcelona’s mayor Ada Colau to proceed amid assurances that the city was “perfectly prepared” and there was “no reason whatsoever” to cancel it, Facebook, Amazon, LG, Intel, Ericsson, Vivo, ZTE, Nvidia, Cisco, Sony, HMD, Volvo, Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, McAfee, BT, and HMD Global had all reportedly pulled out. 

At the time of writing, GDC – which is scheduled to run next month – is still going ahead, but “due to stringent U.S. travel and safety restrictions implemented on February 2nd, 2020, all China-based exhibitors (around 10 out of the 550 companies hosted at GDC this year)” are no longer attending, having had their participation “pushed” to 2021. China-based conference attendees will also not be attending this year.

“The health and safety of our attendees and exhibitors is our top priority,” explains a statement on the GDC website. “We’ve outlined below important safety guidelines that we have put in place, as well as health measures that will be in effect during GDC 2020 in San Francisco. These measures should help all attendees to have a healthy event.”

Nintendo has confirmed that the coronavirus has also impacted the release of its upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch bundle and associated carrying case in Japan. In an update on the official website, Nintendo confirmed that as the limited edition hardware is produced in China, delays were “inevitable”, forcing the company to revise its reservation date and pushing the Japanese preorder date back from February 8th to March 8th, 2020.

At the time of writing, there appears to be no impact on pre-orders of the bundle elsewhere in the world and Amazon UK still states the bundle will be released on time.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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