Sony decided not to attend Pax East next week, despite a large presence just a few weeks ago, following growing concerns about the coronavirus.
“We thought it was the safest option because the situation changes daily,” the company said in an updated blog post. “We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our greatest concern.”
Pax East is one of the largest gaming conventions in the United States, bringing tens of thousands of people to the Boston Convention Center each year. Sony was about to bring its highly anticipated game, The Last of Us, Part II, at the convention, making it the first time that the public has had a chance to learn about the game. Other games that Sony planned to bring to the show include Dreams, Marvel Iron Man VR, Nioh 2, Doom Eternal, and Spelunky 2.
The most recent coronavirus outbreak appeared in Wuhan, China in early December and quickly turned into a global health crisis. More than 75,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed and there are more than 2,000 deaths. The majority of diseases are in China. Still, some cases have been confirmed in more than two dozen other countries, including the United States.
Sony is not the first company to withdraw from a convention on coronavirus problems. Several tech companies have pulled out of the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone convention, due to the virus. Finally, the organizers of the Mobile World Congress, GSM Association, decided to cancel the event completely.
Pax East should still operate normally, but it would not be surprising if there were an increased amount of protocols regarding the management of controllers, VR equipment and general health practices. The convention will run from February 27 to March 1.