PAX West 2020 Still Planned For September

PAX West 2020 Still Planned For September

Despite being nowhere close to in the clear with the coronavirus pandemic, organizers are 'optimistic' that PAX West will go on in September a planned.

This year’s PAX West is still on…for now.

An update was posted on its site and social media channels Tuesday regarding the status of the Seattle-based convention in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read the update:

“We tend to be pretty quiet this time of year, but since we’ve had some questions from fans and exhibitors, we wanted to let everyone know that as of this moment we’re still committed to putting on PAX West this coming Labor Day Weekend (September 4th – 7th) and we will be updating our website with more information on tickets and hotels sometime in May.

Our first priority is your safety, and that extends to issues of public health. As the year progresses, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with health officials at all levels of government, and plan to follow all CDC and WHO guidelines as they are released. That said, actions already taken by our convention center and local government have left us optimistic, and we will continue working with them to make sure we take the correct steps throughout the summer.

We look forward to welcoming you home as we always have, but until then – may you give Tom Nook a run for his money, and may Sephiroth stand defeated in your wake.”

There’s plenty of time between now and September for the current circumstances to settle down. But at the same time, there are also plenty of reasons to remain skeptical that PAX West will still be able to go on as planned, since we don’t seem anywhere close to being out of the woods yet.

A number of gaming events and conventions, including the major ones like E3 and GDC, have already been either canceled or postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. This year’s Gamescom, which was scheduled just a week before PAX West (August 26th – 29th) in Cologne, Germany, is continuing on only in a digital format after the German government extended a ban on all major events in the country through August 31. And the San Diego Comic-Con in July, a marquee event in pop culture, was scrapped for the first time in 50 years.

Closer to home, however, is Emerald City Comic Con, which was slated to be held at the Washington State Convention Center (PAX West’s host site) last month, but has since been pushed to August 21st- 23rd. There have been no further changes there.

As of Sunday, there were more than 12,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state while the number across the U.S. is well over 800,000.

Although there were coronavirus concerns heading into it a couple months ago — granted, before it became an outright pandemic — PAX East in Boston went off without a hitch. The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center has since been turned into a field hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.