As we get closer and closer to PAX East 2020, the guest list of major attendees continues to dwindle due to concerns over travel and the coronavirus. Though many major players will still be at the event, we’ve already seen the likes of Sony abandon plans to attend, and now Square Enix is joining them in part. Though Final Fantasy 14 will still have a booth at PAX East, much of the Japanese devs will not be attending due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Square Enix announced a revision of their plans to attend PAX East 2020 on February 21, 2020, via the Final Fantasy 14 blog. In a post written by the Final Fantasy 14 staff, it was revealed that while Final Fantasy 14 will still be present at the show, staff from Square Enix’s Japanese offices will not be in attendance.
“As the community may be aware, COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”) is spreading within the East Asia region,” the post explains. “Taking into consideration the current situation within the region, sadly SQUARE ENIX has decided to cancel the PAX East attendance of staff who would be traveling from the Japan offices.”
Square Enix’s decision to limit its presence at PAX East 2020 follows Sony’s decision to pull out of the show entirely this year. Sony’s absence meant taking the likes of playable versions of Last of Us Part 2, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and more with them. Even further, Sony pulled out of the upcoming GDC 2020 alongside Facebook and Oculus due to concerns over the Coronavirus as well.
Square Enix marks another major player from overseas removing themselves from the event in response to the coronavirus disease, which has affected the likes of Apple and Nintendo as well. With Baldur’s Gate 3, Grounded, and many other highly anticipated projects of the 2020 gaming calendar slated to make appearances, PAX East 2020 will by no means be barren, but it certainly marks another end of the games industry heavily affected by the coronavirus this season.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Square Enix curtails PAX East plans due to coronavirus concerns
I see a pattern here, several big exhibitions and conferences has been canceled.
And yet NAB in Las Vegas hasn't been yet and that one is huge and brings in many of the same companies that cancelled Barcelona for example..