Concerns around COVID-19, and local government orders that prevent people from gathering in large groups, have led to the cancellation or postponement of numerous gaming, tech, and entertainment conferences scheduled for 2020. E3 2020 in June has been canceled outright, while July’s San Diego Comic-Con has also been scrapped. August’s Gamescom event in Germany is transitioning to a digital show. The next major gaming event after that is PAX West in Seattle, and it is planning to go forward in September as scheduled, organizers have announced.
The current plan is for PAX West to take place over the Labor Day weekend of September 4-7.
In a statement on its website, organizers said, “Our first priority is always your safety, and that extends to issues of public health.”
In the lead-up to PAX West in September, the organizers will monitor the COVID-19 situation and heed the advice of the CDC and the WHO. The local government in Seattle, and the Washington State Convention Center, have already taken actions that the PAX organizers said “left us optimistic.”
So far in 2020, PAX has run all of its shows globally. PAX South took place in Texas in January, while PAX East was held in Boston at the end of February before lockdowns and social-distancing began in earnest. After PAX West, the next PAX show is PAX Australia, which is slated for October in Melbourne.
Outside of PAX, the first-ever Gamescom Asia show is scheduled to take place in Singapore this October, immediately after PAX Aus. All of these shows are tracking to go forward.
Even if all of these shows are legally allowed to go forward, whether or not people will want to attend a convention in a crowded hall and using controllers touched by thousands of people is a different story.
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