Everyone’s favorite (and only) reason to gather in Boston has officially been canceled as ReedPop and Penny Arcade announced that PAX East would not be happening this year. Instead, they will once again be hosting PAX Online in its place from July 15-18.
In a statement released this morning, Kyle Marsden-Kish, the PAX Event Director at ReedPop, writes, “In light of ongoing public health concerns, ReedPop and Penny Arcade will not hold PAX East this year. Given the United States’ progress towards addressing COVID-19 in recent months, we are cautiously optimistic PAX West and PAX Unplugged will proceed as planned with in-person festivities Sept. 3-6 and Dec. 10-12, respectively.”
In the meantime, and while planning for PAX East to be back in full swing next year, the companies seem to have decided on returning to last year’s model with an online convention. They thankfully seem to have learned some things from what was a mixed bag of a show though, which seems like a good indication of what’s to come. For example, last year’s PAX Online took place over the course of an entire week, whereas this time around, it looks to be the (still long, but shorter) standard of four days.
While it’s currently unclear how different proceedings will be this year, it seems that PAX Online is looking to be more engaging this time, perhaps in order to address how drawn out and barebones the show was last year. One step in that direction looks to be the Indie Showcase, which is teased in the press release as taking place “between now and PAX Online.” It looks like in the lead up to the show, there will be a whole host of online events like this.
As PAX Online is planned for and carried out, both ReedPop and Penny Arcade are continuing to monitor the ongoing pandemic in order to assess the likelihood of in-person events for later this year. While it does seem a little too soon still, the promise of a convention is one I’d like to see come through when it’s actually safe to.