Sony pulls out of PAX East due to coronavirus concerns

Last of Us Part 2 Pax East
(Image credit: Sony / Naughty Dog)

Sony won't be attending PAX East due to "increasing concerns" related to the coronavirus.

The announcement was made on the official PlayStation blog as an addendum to a story titled "PlayStation at PAX East: Play The Last of Us Part 2, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, More". It reads:

"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."

As GamesRadar+ previously reported, The Last of Us 2 Demo at PAX East was set to offer players an hour of patrolling with Ellie and Dina. A public demo of that length is virtually unheard of in the industry, and fans were incredibly excited about the opportunity. Demo slots were expected to be an incredibly hot commodity. 

Sony pulling out of PAX East follows a string of cancellations and attendance changes due to coronavirus: the Taipei Game Show was indefinitely postponed back in January, and several esports events were delayed and canceled as a result of the spreading virus. 

Sony pulling out of PAX East may have larger consequences for the convention. We reached out to Sony for comment and will update this story accordingly.

A full statement from Kyle Marsden-Kish, PAX Event Director, ReedPOP can be read below:

"The entire PAX community wants to express our concern for everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The gaming community is a global one and our hearts go out to every person and family affected.

 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. We are working closely with the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and following local, state and federal public health guidelines, including those issued by the CDC. For more information on those measures and the virus, please visit the PAX East travel page and the MCCA website.

 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.

 The well-being of everyone at PAX - from our attendees and exhibitors to our staff on-site at every show - is of the utmost importance to ReedPOP and Penny Arcade. Across the more than 50 total PAX events around the world, we have provided a positive environment for over one million attendees to celebrate gaming. We will continue to work diligently to ensure PAX East 2020 and our other events live up to our high standards and we will proactively keep you up to date with any further developments as we get closer to PAX East 2020."

If the show still goes on, here are the best PAX East 2020 demos to check out. 

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.