It’s not just Sony and Square Enix that are abandoning or scaling back their PAX East plans amid concerns about the coronavirus. Japanese publisher Capcom has announced that concerns around the virus are leading to some changes for the company’s plans at the Boston gaming show.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Capcom said members of the Monster Hunter: World development team who planned to travel from Japan to Boston for a fan gathering called Monster Hunter: Festa are no longer going to make the trip. The event will still go on, and there will be some news about the Iceborne expansion, but the developers won’t be there for the previously scheduled autograph session.
“Our sincere apologies for inconvenience!” the statement says.
PAX East runs February 27-March 1 in Boston, Massachusetts. Sony has completely pulled out of the show due to the virus, which means fans won’t get to play The Last of Us: Part II. For its part, Square Enix is scaling back its Final Fantasy XIV Online events at PAX East, though the company’s other plans are scheduled to go forward as scheduled.
PAX East generates increased revenue for the Boston economy due to the thousands of people who flock to the city and spend money on hotels, food, and other entertainment. Losing Sony completely is a big loss, and Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh, recently pleaded with Sony’s CEO to reconsider.
“These fears reinforce harmful stereotypes that generations of Asians have worked hard to dismantle,” Walsh wrote in a letter. “They trigger our worst impulses: to view entire groups of people with suspicion, to close ourselves off, and to miss out on the opportunities and connections our global city provides.”
“As a large, international company, you have an opportunity to set a good example…As a leader in technology, you can show that you are motivated by facts, not fear.”
It’s not just PAX East that is seeing major companies pull out from. Sony recently announced that it will not attend the Game Developers Conference in March due to concerns about the virus, while Death Stranding developer Kojima Productions has also backed out.
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