PAX East will be short of developers this year in Boston, MA. as more teams including Capcom, Square Enix and Kojima Productions are cancelling their visits from risks of coronavirus.
According to GamesIndustry, the companies are joining PlayStation and Facebook/Oculus after both dropped from the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC) last week.
The virus, labeled as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, has also affected supplies for new Nintendo Switch consoles while production for the Oculus Quest faces more delay amid existing shortages.
In a statement over Final Fantasy XIV’s website, fan events have also been cancelled for PAX East.
“Taking into consideration the current situation within the region, sadly SQUARE ENIX has decided to cancel the PAX East attendance of staff who would be travelling from the Japan offices,” the update said.
“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.”
However, visitors could also see Square Enix’s booth at PAX East along with opportunities to “enjoy the Ruby Weapon battle challenge, the New Player Experience and photo opportunities.”
Capcom expressed concerns for its Monster Hunter development team on Twitter, apologizing to guests they won’t be holding an autograph booth. Despite this, fans would continue getting announcements for its upcoming Monster Hunter World: Iceborne expansion.
Kojima Productions also cited a “difficult decision” and cancelled its events for Hideo Kojima and Eric Johnson.
Since February 24, 2019, WHO reported COVID-19 has over 715 new tallied cases worldwide under a High risk assessment.
Sony’s cancellation notice also prompted Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to personally write a letter for CEO Kenchiro Yoshida for reconsideration.
According to WCVB 5, Walsh continued stating their city is “extremely” low-risk from COVID-19 and fears could continue dividing Chinese and Asian communities.
Despite a lighter lineup, the full PAX East event will still continue on with its remaining schedule across four days starting on the 27th.
You can view the full schedule for PAX East 2020 here.