Reed Exhibitions, the company that organizes PAX and other events in the gaming and entertainment spaces (among other industries), has issued a statement regarding the Coronavirus. The group says all of its events are still planned to go forward “unless otherwise advised.”
This includes PAX East, which takes place starting next week in Boston, Massachusetts. Gaming giant Sony recently announced it was pulling out of the show, and canceling the world’s first public hands-on with The Last of Us: Part II, due to concerns around the virus.
“PAX East 2020 will take place as scheduled with enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID-19 virus,” reads a statement on the PAX East website.
Reed Exhibitions said in its statement, “Our current status with regard to the COVID-19 virus remains unchanged: the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff is our number one priority.”
The group said it urges its partners and visitors to follow the World Health Organization’s suggestions around practices and protocols related to public health and safety.
For PAX East and Reed Exhibitions’ other upcoming events, there will be public health messaging available before and during the show. Additionally, upcoming events will feature the implementation of “strengthened” hygiene and sanitation efforts, while the events will also have increased medical support.
While Reed Exhibitions’ events will go forward, at least one major event has decided to cancel. The world’s largest mobile phone conference, MWC in Barcelona, has been canceled as numerous companies pulled out over fears about the Coronavirus.
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco will go forward as scheduled in March, though there will be increased measures in place to help prevent the spread of disease.
So far more than 1,700 people have died from the Coronavirus, most of them in mainland China. In terms of the video game industry, Nintendo Switch supply could be impacted by manufacturing supply breaks from the virus, and The Outer Worlds on Switch was delayed. A PUBG event in Berlin was also postponed. GDC will begin on March 16.
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