Sony no longer attending PAX East 2020

Due to concerns over Coronavirus, Sony has decided to skip PAX East this year.

In a surprising announcement from Sony, it was revealed that they will no longer be attending PAX East 2020 due to fears over Coronavirus (COVID-19). The news will likely disappoint many PAX East attendees hoping to demo games like The Last of Us Part II which was slated to be part of the Sony booth along with other upcoming games like the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Sony no longer attending PAX East 2020

Sony no longer attending PAX East 2020
Fears over COVID-19 have swayed Sony into skipping PAX East 2020.
© Naughty Dog

In the weeks leading up to PAX East 2020, Sony has been hyping up their presence with confirmed demos of games like The Last of Us Part II. Unfortunately, those plans have changed as Sony posted an update on their blog today announcing they will no longer be attending PAX East due to the ongoing concerns over the Coronavirus.

“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.”

While many will note that Boston is pretty far removed from the epicenter of COVID-19 in China, it’s important to note that many Sony employees require international travel. In effort to protect its employees, Sony is taking every precaution possible, which is respectable. As for PAX East, the event will proceed as normal without interruption.

Organizers have commented that they are pushing enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures, “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.” Other ways to stay safe during the show include regularly washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, and not touching your face.

The reason for this is that COVID-19 is spread via droplets on surfaces such as, using PAX as an example, a video game controller (like if someone sneezes into their hand and then touches a controller to demo a game). If you touch a controller with those droplets present, then touch your nose, ears, or mouth, you’re placing yourself at risk for infection.

Even if you think there’s no risk, it’s still recommended that you wash your hands and again, avoid touching your face, while enjoying your time at PAX East. All in all, it’s sad to hear that Sony will be skipping PAX East this year, but it’s also understandable that they are hesitant to put their employees at risk via international travel.

After hearing the news, what are your thoughts? Are you sad you won’t be able to demo The Last of Us Part II, or are you happy to hear Sony is taking measures to protect its employees? Comment below!

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at morgan.shaver@allgamers.com or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.

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