Sony cancels booths at PAX East next weekend, won't show off The Last of Us Part 2
Mere days after multimedia company Bushiroad canceled all events for the next month, the company announced on February 20 that they will be pulling out of AnimeJapan this year admit concerns about the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. Across the Pacific, Sony also announced that it’ll be pulling out of PAX East next weekend.
Bushiroad released a statement on February 20 expressing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus at AnimeJapan 2020, and that they will be canceling the exhibition booths they planned to exhibit at the event for the safety of cast members and customers. These included booths for franchises, Assault Lily, ARGONAVIS from BanG Dream!, Rebirth for you, and BanG Dream!. The company “sincerely apologize for any inconvenience to our customers and those who have been looking forward to seeing exhibits at the above booths.”
The statement noted that there will still be announcements happening during the March 21 weekend from the above franchises, but they’ll be distributed via the companies social media. AnimeJapan itself released a statement on Twitter saying the event is “preparing for the scheduled start” but noting that “the event may be canceled depending on the spread of the new coronavirus.”
Sony has also canceled its scheduled appearance at PAX East in Boston on the February 27 weekend, saying in a statement on its website that “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’).” The video games company was “disappointed to cancel [their] participation in [PAX East], but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.”
Developer Naughty Dog, who planned to present The Last of Us Part 2 at the event expressed sadness over the cancelation on their Twitter, saying they “we’re looking forward to meeting you and seeing the reactions to the demo.”
We’re so sad to have to miss PAX East! We were really looking forward to meeting you and seeing your reactions to the demo. Although we know this makes the wait until May 29 a bit harder, we appreciate your understanding. Don’t worry, we’ll have more to share closer to launch. https://t.co/tIJ0Z7Ztcs— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) February 19, 2020
Most upcoming concerts – such as the Sound! Euphonium concert scheduled for March 1 in Sumida, Tokyo – are emailing ticket holders and posting on social media some guidelines on how to protect yourself at the events, and warning ticket holders that events may be canceled. A smaller cosplay event in the Tokai region, Cos Mall, has canceled its upcoming March 1 event, citing the virus.
Coronavirus cases in Japan have risen to 91 outside of the Diamond Princess cruise ship moored in Yokohama, which recorded two new deaths today of Japanese nationals who were on board the ship and died after the quarantine had ended. The outbreak in Japan “casts a shadow over tourism in Japan” according to NHK World
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.