Boston Mayor Urges Sony To Reconsider PAX East Cancellation

Boston Mayor Urges Sony To Reconsider PAX East Cancellation

There was a sizeable amount of hype for this year’s PAX East, not only for the expected reveals to come out the Boston-held event, but for PlayStation’s high-profile plans for those in attendance. However, in the wake of concerns over the globally-spreading disease known as Coronavirus, Sony recently opted to cancel its big appearance to minimize the outbreak’s potential impact on personnel. As the now-Sony-less event draws near, it appears the mayor of Boston is still holding out hope the company could return for this year’s proceedings.

In a recent letter to Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, Boston mayor Marty Walsh implored the company to reconsider its withdrawal from PAX East, citing the low possibility of Coronavirus appearing in Boston or the state of Massachusetts as a whole. As per WCVB, the mayor attributes the widespread concern of Coronavirus to “confusion and lack of information” regarding the disease and hopes to dispel any “anti-Chinese and anti-Asian sentiment” such fears may inspire.

“These fears reinforce harmful stereotypes that generations of Asians have worked hard to dismantle,” Walsh wrote. “They trigger our worst impulses: to view entire groups of people with suspicion, to close ourselves off, and to miss out on the opportunities and connections our global city provides. Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears.”

This call to see Sony return to PAX East is part of a greater effort by Walsh to repair a stigma sparked by the Coronavirus. As the China-based illness continues to affect thousands of lives across the world, the mayor has been rallying to rebuild the reputation of Boston’s struggling Chinatown businesses, with revenues in the Asia-centric area reportedly down by 50% or more. In his letter to Sony, Walsh likened Sony’s PAX East cancellation as another contributor to this trend, urging the company to “set a good example” regarding the Coronavirus scare and show they are “motivated by facts” rather than “fear.”

“As a large, international company, you have an opportunity to set a good example,” Walsh continued. “As a leader in technology, you can show that you are motivated by facts, not fear. As a leader in gaming and culture, you can show that you believe in connection, not isolation.”

Walsh’s request aside, Sony returning to PAX East looks to be far away from happening. In the days since the cancelled Boston, publisher Square Enix has also announced an altered presence at the Boston proceedings, scaling back involvement and removing several events that would have revolved around Final Fantasy XIV. Several games have also seen a delay due to safety reasons, such as Obsidian’s planned Nintendo Switch port for The Outer Worlds.

What do you think? Are you hopeful that Sony could return to PAX East, or is it much too late for the decision to be reversed? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:

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Eric Hall2712 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.


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