It seems Sony will not be attending PAX East when the show starts next week.
Sony has announced that they will not be at PAX East due to the coronavirus outbreak. The company was originally meant to have a playable demo of The Last of Us Part II, which may not happen now that they have opted to not attend the show. On the PlayStation Blog, Sony explained why they had chosen to skip the show altogether:
"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 Last of Us Part II may not be the only game affected by Sony pulling out from PAX East. Other PlayStation exclusives may not show up at the event after all, including Marvel's Iron Man VR and Dreams.
This is not the only instance of the coronavirus affecting the gaming industry. The Nintendo Switch port of The Outer Worlds was delayed indefinitely after the virus broke out. This is due to the fact that the studio behind the port is based in China, the center of the illness. There are also reports that Switch production may be affected this spring due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak is centered mainly in China. There have been over 75,000 cases of infection and 2,000 confirmed deaths. The virus has made its way outside of China since the initial outbreak. Cases of the virus have been announced in at least 27 countries, with some of those cases having led to the deaths of the inflicted.