PlayStation is no longer participating in PAX East, which takes place in Boston from Feb. 26 to March 1. Sony Interactive Entertainment released a short update atop a PAX-related blog post today citing the coronavirus as its chief reason for canceling its participation.

“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’),” reads the post on the official PlayStation Blog. “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.”

The news comes after Boston released a statement confirming the first case of coronavirus in the state of Massachusetts. The patient will “continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials,” it reads.

Coronavirus has been classified as a public health emergency by the World Health Organization, as it has spread to more than 20 countries. Eight cases have been confirmed in the United States. The coronavirus outbreak has affected the video game industry, with the Switch port of the Outer Worlds delayed because of it. The Overwatch League canceled its matches that would have took place in China later this year.

In a statement to The Post on Wednesday, PAX event director Kyle Marsden-Kish said PAX East will go on as planned, with “enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show” based on the EPA’s recommendations in its Emerging Pathogen Policy.

“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,” Marsden-Kish said in the statement.

At PAX East, PlayStation was scheduled to show over 20 games at its booth, including some hotly anticipated games of the year, such as The Last of Us 2, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Nioh 2. It would have been the first public hands-on opportunity for The Last of Us 2.

Game development studio Naughty Dog responded to the news on Twitter, chiming in that they are “disappointed” to not see fans react to The Last of Us 2 demo.

More of the gaming world’s premier conventions are soon approaching and have already been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The Game Developers Conference, an industry-wide gathering attended by tens of thousands in San Francisco and beginning March 16, posted an update on its efforts last week. China-based exhibitors and conference attendees will not be taking part this year due to travel restrictions. There were 10 exhibitors from China scheduled, and 2 percent of the conference attendees were expected to come from China, according to conference organizers.

GDC officials also said San Francisco’s Moscone Center site will expand cleanliness to include disinfecting crowded areas, more frequent wipedowns of areas such as doorknobs, escalator rails and elevator buttons, and other increased sanitization efforts.

This is a developing story and will be updated with new information.

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