Following PlayStation's decision to pull out of PAX East last week due to concerns over Coronavirus, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has written to Sony executive Shuhei Yoshida, pleading with the company to reconsider its decision just days before the annual gaming expo takes place.
“While we understand that you are concerned for the health and safety of your workforce," writes Walsh (via Boston Herald), "We urge you to reconsider and to learn more about the realities of this global health issue."
“These fears reinforce harmful stereotypes that generations of Asians have worked hard to dismantle," the letter continues. "They trigger our worst impulses: to view entire groups of people with suspicion, to close ourselves off, and to miss out on the opportunities and connections our global city provides."
"Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears. As a large, international company, you have an opportunity to set a good example. As a leader in technology, you can show that you are motivated by facts, not fear. As a leader in gaming and culture, you can show that you believe in connection, not isolation.”
PlayStation was originally schedule to attend PAX East with playable demos for The Last of Us Part 2, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and more, but u-turned on its plans at the last minute, explaining that "the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern." The company hasn't yet offered an official response to Walsh's letter.
If the show still goes on, here are the best PAX East 2020 demos to check out. Alternatively, check out the video below for our latest episode of Dialogue Options.