We are a few days away from the annual Penny Arcade Expo in Boston, Massachusetts (better known as PAX East). Each year, game developers and publishers descend upon Boston to show off their latest games that are currently in development or are about to go gold and then be released to the world. EA, SEGA, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and others are usually in attendance to share what they are preparing for the world and to gather feedback from gamers who are looking forward to their games, while the gamers are looking forward to playing these upcoming games. Sadly, one of the publishers won’t be there for PAX East this year … and for a good reason.
In an updated statement on their own blog, Sony PlayStation has announced that it will be backing out of PAX East due to 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.”
The Coronavirus has been hitting the gaming industry hard this last month. Nintendo has delayed the production of their Animal Crossing Switch variant, and rumors are now starting to come up that the virus may halt production on the PS5 and Xbox: Series X. With how devastating this virus is, I wouldn’t be surprised if more people start backing out for GDC (the Game Developers Conference) since Kojima Productions announced that they would be doing exactly that as well.
If you are planning to attend PAX East or the GDC, please take caution as your health is important:
- Wash your hands every chance you can.
- If you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, cough or sneeze into your arm.
- If you think you need a face mask to cover your nose and mouth, they are available to purchase at local stores.
- And lastly … if you are feeling ill yourself, stay home.
Your health is more important than attending any convention. It should always be top priority, so please be careful. If you are sick and can’t make the convention, that is 100% fine as the panels are streamed on Twitch. Yes, you won’t be able to play the games on the show floor but there is always next time!
PAX East is always a fun time, and even if one company is not attending, it’s not the end of the world. Hundreds of other studios from around the world will be there to show off their latest work and if you can go, you should go … but again, please take care of yourself at the convention as you will be around 52,000+ people in a single building.
Be safe and have fun!