Sony, Google and EA postpone events in light of US protests

2 Jun 2020558 Views

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Sony, EA and Google have postponed events planned for this week due to ongoing protests in the US, with Sony saying that there are ‘more important voices’ that need to be heard right now.

As protests continue in the US and other locations around the world, Sony has announced that it is postponing a PlayStation 5 event that was scheduled for Thursday (4 June). EA and Google also cancelled launch events planned for this week.

Sony said that while the company understands that gamers are excited to learn more about releases planned for later this year, the company does not “feel that right now is a time for celebration”. It added that it wants to “stand back” and allow “more important voices” to be heard this week.

The statement alluded to the ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, which was declared as homicide after a post-mortem, and concerns about police brutality and systemic racism.

As well as demonstrations around the US, CNN has listed many of the global protests that took place last weekend, including one in Dublin that drew thousands of demonstrators.

The Sony event

Sony’s event this week planned to showcase the speed of the upcoming PlayStation 5, some of the games that are set to be released and new features such as haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and 3D audio technology.

As well as announcing the postponement of the event, PlayStation published a tweet in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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“We denounce systemic racism and violence against the Black community,” the company wrote. “We will continue to work towards a future marked by empathy and inclusion and stand with our black creators, players, employees, families and friends. #BlackLivesMatter.”

The tweet was later shared by the Xbox Twitter account, where the Microsoft gaming business wrote: “We stand together.”

Other cancelled events

EA also announced that it is postponing a launch event for its Madden NFL 21 game. The company said: “We stand with our African American/black community of friends, players, colleagues and partners. Our immediate attention is on actions we can take to drive change against the unjust treatment and systemic bias that is plaguing the nation and our world.”

EA said that the current social issues are “bigger than a game, bigger than sports, and needs all of us to stand together and commit to change”.

Meanwhile, Google has delayed an announcement detailing features in the Android 11 Beta. The company said “now is not the time to celebrate” and postponed its event planned for Wednesday (3 June).

The Android Developers Twitter account said that it would provide more details on Android 11 soon.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com