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Sony drops out of PAX East due to novel coronavirus concerns

The Last of Us Part II and other demos will not be available at the show next week

One week after announcing its presence at PAX East, Sony has changed its plans and opted to avoid the show, citing concerns about COVID-19 (also known as "novel coronavirus").

"We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily," said Sony in an update to its original blog post announcing its attendance. "We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern."

Originally, Sony had planned to attend East with demos of several upcoming titles, most notably including Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II. Those titles will now no longer be on the show floor.

Naughty Dog also took to Twitter 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."

This marks the latest in a long series of events, industry sectors, and companies affected by the spread of COVID-19. Just last week, GDC gave an update on the status of how the virus' spread will affect Chinese industry attendance at its conference next month.

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. 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.

Disclosure: PAX organizer ReedPOP is the parent company of GamesIndustry.biz.

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Latest comments (1)

Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online5 months ago
Dubious. Showing games on the East Coast of the US is a danger, while having staff attend GDC on the West Coast next month is not a problem?

I suspect something's up in general with Sony. First we see all the position shuffling last year, then no E3, leaving the show to Microsoft and the fourth Xbox ... not sure what to make of this one. Oh, and then the component pricing news of PS5 the other day ... This will be a most interesting year.
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