The publisher cited coronavirus concerns in East Asia as the reason.
Earlier today, Square Enix revealed its line-up for PAX East 2020 which featured Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Final Fantasy 14 and Outriders. However, it later updated the schedule and removed several activities pertaining to Final Fantasy 14. The originally planned panel will not be taking place and a developer signing, photo opp and fan gathering event have also been cancelled.
The reason for this is due to concerns over the coronavirus, which also resulted in the delay of the Taipei Game Show and Sony withdrawing from GDC 2020 and PAX East. Square Enix said in an official statement: “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 traveling 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. Since our team will not be in attendance, we are planning to scale down on our planned activities for Final Fantasy 14.”
There will still be a livestream from the developer’s offices though and attendees can still take part in the Ruby Weapon Battle Challenge. It also seems that the playable demo for Final Fantasy 7 Remake and signing session with the game’s voice actors are still on. The Outriders panel is also still on track and will offer new details and information on the upcoming shooter.
PAX East 2020 takes place from February 27th to March 1st.