Once again, the spread of the coronavirus has caused publisher Square Enix to rework some of its plans for PAX East 2020.
Following in PlayStation’s footsteps, Square Enix today announced that it would be diminishing some of its planned events that were set to transpire next week at PAX East 2020 as a result of the ongoing coronavirus.
On the official Final Fantasy XIV website today, Square Enix announced that it would be dropping some of the events associated with the ever-popular MMO. The reason for this decision is because many of the people that would need to travel to Boston, Massachusetts, where PAX East takes place, would need to travel from Square’s offices in Japan. Because this region is in closer proximity to where the coronavirus has taken hold (mainly in China), Square thought it would be safer for its employees to stay home.
Here’s a portion of the explanation that Square Enix released:
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.
As for what specifically Square has canceled, three Final Fantasy XIV events will no longer be occurring. One of these was a panel that was slated to take place on Saturday, February 28, which was going to take a look at the art of FFXIV. The other was a developer photo opp and signing session that would have taken place on February 29 and March 1. Lastly, the fan gathering that was going to be held on February 28 has also been canned.
Fortunately, there will still be a Final Fantasy XIV booth on the show floor if you’re going to attend PAX East for yourself. Furthermore, it seems as though none of Square’s plans related to the highly-anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake have been canceled, either, so no need to worry about that. Much as it was with PlayStation, I can’t blame Square for canceling these plans by any means. I appreciate them looking out for the safety and health of their own employees above all else.
PAX East 2020 will kick off next Thursday, February 27, and will last until Sunday, March 1.