PlayStation won't attend PAX East over coronavirus fears

UPDATE: Pulling out of GDC too.

UPDATE 11.45pm: Following Sony's announcement that it will no longer be attending PAX East, the company has confirmed it will also be pulling out of this year's Game Developers Conference as a result of "increasing concerns related to [coronavirus]".

In a statement obtained by GamesIndustry.biz, Sony Interactive Entertainment explained, "We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.

"We look forward to participating in GDC in the future."

This year's Game Developers Conference is scheduled to run from 16th to 20th March and will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

ORIGINAL STORY 11.29am: PlayStation will no longer attend PAX East due to "increasing concerns" surrounding coronavirus.

PAX East (operated by Eurogamer's US parent company Reedpop) opens its doors next week in Boston (US, not Lincolnshire).

"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')," PlayStation said in a statement.

"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."

PlayStation was due to use PAX East to show a playable demo for The Last of Us Part 2 - which it had previously asked fans to reserve a spot for via the PlayStation app. There's no word yet if and when this may resurface.

75,000 people are now thought to have contracted coronavirus worldwide. To date, more than 74,500 of these cases originated in China.

The US has seen 15 cases. This includes a Boston man who contracted it after visiting the epicentre of the outbreak in Wuhan, China.

No other PAX East attendees have cancelled their attendance due to coronavirus.

The largest impact of coronavirus on the video games industry so far has been word of Nintendo Switch console shipment shortages in Japan, as Chinese factories shut down while its citizens self-isolate.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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