Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is asking Sony to "set a good example" and come back to PAX East.
Sony recently announced it would skip PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts because of potential coronavirus risks, cancelling big events like a hands-on gameplay demo of The Last of Us Part II in the process. Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh wants the billion-dollar games-maker to change its mind and come back to the show. Walsh's motivations are an attempt to re-vitalize the annual games showcase that brings lots of tourism to Boston, and to reverse the cultural stigma that the coronavirus has caused.
"As a large, international company, you have an opportunity to set a good example. 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," Mayor Walsh said in a letter to Sony's CEO Kenichiro Yoshida obtained by WCVB.
"Boston is united in our efforts to dispel these harmful and misguided fears. We are supporting local businesses and communities that have been negatively impacted and we are showing what a strong, diverse, proud city looks like."
The company currently has no plans to re-consider and attend PAX East, and based how readily it's retracted from other gaming events, this is unlikely to change.
Sony has since pulled out of GDC 2020 due to similar health concerns.
GDC is the big yearly developer's conference where platform-holders meet up with game creators and showcase new hardware, software techniques, and fortify partnership deals. Sony's absence at the show may negatively impact the launch of its next-generation PlayStation 5 system as it misses a valuable opportunity to reach and influence game developers from all over the world.
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