Pax East 2020: Boston mayor urges Sony to reconsider attendance

Sources reveal that Sony was expected to showcase a playable demo of one of its highly anticipated titles of 2020.

State of Decay 2 Gameplay Trailer - PAX East 2018IGN

The tech industry has been gripped by the Wuhan coronavirus scare. Despite the claims of a cure being available, it would still take time before authorities clear it for human testing. For now, the only way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure by being in crowded places wherein a single infected person might be in the vicinity. Thus, the world's biggest tech companies are dropping out of big events. Sony recently announced that it will not attend PAX East, but a local official has something to say.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh reportedly communicated with PlayStation CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, reveals IGN. "These fears reinforce harmful stereotypes that generations of Asians have worked hard to dismantle," read the 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. Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears."

It appears that Walsh wants Sony to know that the risk of contracting the Wuhan coronavirus from residents of Boston, Massachusetts is very unlikely. He likewise detailed that misinformation about the epidemic is what is causing unwarranted panic among people. Even the organisers of PAX East assured attendees and exhibitors that it will perform "enhanced cleaning and sanitisation" as preventive measures against the virus.

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Sources reveal that Sony was expected to showcase a playable demo of one of its highly anticipated titles of 2020. "The Last of Us: Part II" is slated to hit retailers on Friday, May 29, but it would have been a chance for developer Naughty Dog to have the public try the gameplay before launch. There is currently no plan to release a digital demo of the game, which is probably why gamers are disappointed.

Most of the deaths have been in Hubei and its capital, Wuhan, the epicentre of the crisis Photo: AFP / STR

To date, the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread in China as well as other countries. Therefore, controversial moves such as Sony's aforementioned pull-out from PAX East seems understandable. The Japanese gaming manufacturer has also announced that it will not attend the Game Developers Conference next month. Until China finds a way to control the outbreak, it looks like the trend will continue for the rest of 2020.

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