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.
This year, Sony’s booth was supposed to showcase The Last of Us 2, the Final Fantasy VII remake, Doom Eternal, Nioh 2, and more. However, with the news that the virus has managed to reach Boston two weeks ago, the site of this year’s PAX East, Sony made the decision – a not unfair but perhaps slightly alarmist decision – to pull out.
Kyle Marsden-Kish, the show’s event director, made this comment:
“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. 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.”
Part of me wondered if Sony was just looking for an excuse to pull out, but it’s not as if PAX East is under any scrutiny, or the games they wanted to show off are at risk of being bad. So I guess it really just stemmed from concern for employee health. Which is nice.