Square Enix and Capcom have announced that they will be scaling back their PAX East presence later this week, while EA will be limiting its GDC 2020 attendance next month.
The Coronavirus outbreak has caused disruptions across the gaming industry, including shortages, delays and key companies pulling out of the public events. Sony recently cancelled its presence on both PAX East and GDC 2020, and Hideo Kojima’s studio, Kojima Productions, pulled out of next month’s Game Developers Conference as well, citing concerns of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
On the official Final Fantasy XIV blog, Square Enix has now announced that it will be scaling back its PAX East 2020 presence. Reportedly, the publisher will still be present at the event, but its team coming from the Japan office will no longer be traveling to Boston, effectively canceling the Final Fantasy XIV panel session, developer signings, and fan events.
“As the community may be aware, COVID-19 (also known as “novel coronavirus”) is spreading within the East Asia region. 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 travelling from the Japan offices. This difficult decision was based on our desire to prevent any potential spread of the virus and to prioritize the health and safety of our team and our fans.”
Like Square Enix, Capcom announced that its Monster Hunter World team will no longer be attending the event. Capcom didn’t reveal whether this decision is related to the Coronavirus. The planned Monster Hunter: Festa event hasn’t been cancelled yet.
An update on MH Festa: Boston 2020:
Unfortunately, our guests from the MH dev team will no longer be able to attend the event. We will no longer have an autograph session but are still planning to share #Iceborne news.
Our sincere apologies for inconvenience! pic.twitter.com/DVpQugYieS
— Capcom USA (@CapcomUSA_) February 20, 2020
In a post on Linkedin, EA’s Ad Product Development Specialist, Alex Sherer, wrote that the publisher will be limiting its GDC 2020 attendance, cancelling participation in official GDC events.
“Just received word from corporate, and EA will be limiting our presence at GDC, cancelling our participation in official GDC events, and all EA employees have been advised to not travel to San Francisco for the conference.”, Sherer wrote on Linkedin.
“I'm terribly sorry, but this means I will be cancelling any and all GDC related meetings, dinners, coffee meetups and mixers. I will do my best to send individual communications as well, but please know I send my deepest regrets that I won't be seeing everyone for GDC 2020.”
PAX East is taking place in Boston from February 27 to March 1. GDC 2020 will run from March 16 through March 20.