Sony, Square Enix, Capcom, Facebook, CD Projekt Red, and PUBG Corp have all canceled their PAX East 2020 plans.
The event is still scheduled to take place on February 27 in Boston, Massachusetts.
The companies have decided to err on the side of caution, as the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc around the world.
With countries like South Korea and Italy experiencing spikes of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the video game industry is taking precautions moving forward.
Sony was scheduled to have its first-ever public hands-on demo for The Last of Us Part II at PAX East. Sadly, the company has since stated in a blog post, “We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily.”
In response, the Mayor of Boston formally requested that Sony reconsider its decision to pull out of PAX East. “Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears,” quoted WCVB5.
- Coronavirus might result in a global Nintendo Switch shortage
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Meanwhile, Japanese companies Square Enix and Capcom have both decided not to attend the event at all.
Both companies, however, still plan on announcing new developments for Final Fantasy XIV and Iceborn.
An update on MH Festa: Boston 2020:— Capcom USA (@CapcomUSA_) February 20, 2020
Unfortunately, our guests from the MH dev team will no longer be able to attend the event. We will no longer have an autograph session but are still planning to share #Iceborne news.
Our sincere apologies for inconvenience! pic.twitter.com/DVpQugYieS
Along with pulling out of GDC, Facebook has likewise decided not to send any of its employees to PAX East, due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to a report by CNBC.
CD Projekt Red has also canceled its PAX East appearance, according to the company’s North American head of communications, Stephanie Bayer. In addition, PUBG Corp. has decided to reschedule its planned bar event, as reported by GameSpot.
I just found out my team is cancelling our PAX East trip so I will NOT be at PAX East as previously planned.— Ｓｔｅｐｈａｎｉｅ Ｂａｙｅｒ (@NSSteph) February 25, 2020
I should still be at GDC though!
The coronavirus epidemic has majorly impacted the gaming community. It has forced multiple esports events to be postponed or canceled, including the LoL Mid-Season Invitational, all China and South Korean Overwatch League games, the SNK World Championship, the WESG APAC Finals, and the Acer APAC Predator League.