‘This difficult decision was based on our desire to prevent any potential spread of the virus’
Considerations for the coronavirus have caused another studio to pull out of PAX East.
In addition to Sony, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV Japanese team (but not the US team, more on that in a moment) is pulling out of the show entirely due to health concerns. The studio shared their thoughts directly on the official Final Fantasy XIV blog, The Lodestone, citing the outbreak of the virus throughout the East Asia region. According to Square Enix, “This difficult decision was based on our desire to prevent any potential spread of the virus and to prioritize the health and safety of our team and our fans.”
As a result, the PAX East festivities for XIV have been “scaled down,” and will now pivot to a livestream from Japan (in English and Japanese) on Saturday, February 29 at 8:00PM ET (that’s 10:00AM JST on Sunday). There will be no photo opp or autograph sessions or fan gatherings at PAX East, though the booth and demo stations will still be present: just with no dev team members manning it. Several other Square Enix related booths will be manned at the show.
GDC is also seeing its fair share of cancellations, as Sony and Facebook Gaming (Oculus) have pulled out of that show due to “the evolving public health risks.” For reference, GDC, EGX Rezzed and SXSW Gaming are set to take place next month. We might be looking at more cancellations as more studios pull out.
An Update Regarding PAX East 2020 Activities [Square Enix]