PAX Online Takes Place of West, Australia During Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

PAX Online Takes Place of West, Australia During Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

The nine-day online event will run from Sept. 12-20, and aims to try and retain most of what fans have come to love about the annual conventions.

This year’s PAX Australia was scrapped because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and now PAX West in Seattle has been canceled too.

In their place will be a combined nine-day online event from Sept. 12-20 dubbed “PAX Online” that pledges to bring a virtual showfloor that retains everything fans have come to love about the annual conventions, from game reveals, to hands-on demos, panels, esports tournaments, and the Indie Showcase.

“PAX has always been a community first, from the attendees, panelists, exhibitors, to the incredible Enforcers who keep PAX going all year,” PAX co-founder Jerry Holkins said in a press release sent out Tuesday. “PAX Online brings that shared experience home, along with game reveals, exclusive hands-on experiences, the chance to hear from and speak with your favorite game developers, plus so much more.

“Even if we can’t all meet in Seattle or Melbourne this year, we look forward to reconnecting with our friends and welcoming everyone to our new home, PAX Online. Technically, you’re already there.”

The event is a combined effort between organizers for PAX West, PAX Australia, and EGX, and aims to bring 24-hours of content a day for all nine days. There will be no badges necessary either, PAX Online will be free to attend.

PAX West and Australia merchandise exclusive to what would have been their own showfloors will now be sold online all summer, along with new PAX Online-branded merch.

Details on how to watch and participate will follow in the coming weeks. In the meantime, panel submissions are open from now until July 24, and developers can register for the Indie Showcase up to July 17.

 

With the spread of COVID-19 making it near impossible to hold large gatherings across the world, the gaming convention schedule has been completely ravaged.

PAX East in Boston, thanks to being scheduled earlier than normal this year, was able to continue on back at the end of February even though concern over the coronavirus in the U.S. was rapidly increasing. Since then, however, multiple events — E3, GDC, and SXSW being some of the biggest among them — have either had to have been canceled, postponed, or converted into digital shows as the outbreak quickly grew into a pandemic. The pandemic causing a lack of shows to attend has caused the Indie Megabooth, a PAX staple, to go on hiatus.

Back in April, PAX staff and event organizer ReedPOP tried to remain optimistic that they would still be able to host PAX West in early September as intended. But many doubted that possibility and continued to do so as the U.S. struggled to return to normalcy.

When PAX Australia’s postponement was announced, after it was scheduled to happen a month following West in October, the annual Seattle convention’s fate seemed all but certain.