Update: An official statement regarding Sony's withdrawl from PAX East 2020 has been posted to the PAX website, confirming that the event will continue as-planned and with added health safety measures in place.
"PAX East 2020 will take place as scheduled with enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA's Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID-19 virus," the statement reads. "We are working closely with the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and following local, state and federal public health guidelines, including those issued by the CDC."
"While we are saddened that Sony will no longer have a presence at PAX East 2020, we look forward to welcoming our friends at Sony to future PAX events and are focused on making PAX East 2020 a successful and enjoyable event for all attendees and exhibitors."
Our original story follows:
After news that The Last of Us Part 2 would be publicly playable at this year's PAX East, Naughty Dog and Sony are backing out of the show. PlayStation will not be present in Boston this year, due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
In an update posted to its PAX East blog announcement, Sony states the following:
UPDATE: 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"). 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.
This means The Last of Us Part 2 will not be at PAX, alongside PlayStation's presence. No word yet on how this will affect other developers' attendance.
On Twitter, Naughty Dog apologized to fans who were eager to play the demo at PAX East 2020. "Although we know this makes the wait until May 29 a bit harder, we appreciate your understanding," the statement says. "Don't worry, we'll have more to share closer to launch."
The coronavirus outbreak has caused a number of ripple effects in the games industry, from other canceled global events and esports competitions to reports of hardware shortages. The outbreak is still ongoing, as CNN reports that the death toll of the novel coronavirus has risen to over 2000 worldwide.
Disclosure: USG is owned by ReedPop, which runs PAX East.