It’s been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world, and we’re just now seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. However, though the vaccination process is going along, organizers of show events are still being understandably careful. Earlier today, it was revealed that PAX East 2021, which was scheduled for this July, will now be canceled and replaced with an online variant. Show organizers cite the reason is due to “ongoing public health concerns.”
It’s a similar story to what happened in 2020. Last year, the organizers canceled PAX West and PAX Aus, replacing them with an all-digital show. The events were scheduled to open in September and October, respectively. Instead, PAX Online 2020 brought the gaming goodness to everyone, free of charge. PAX East 2020 took place in late February, just before everything went to hell.
This year’s PAX Online will take place over the course of four days, starting July 15. Originally, PAX East 2021 was scheduled for June 3 – 6 this year, so you’ll have an extra month to wait for PAX Online. However, it should be worth the wait. This year’s show will include livestream events to watch, as well as an Indie Showcase. It’s likely this event will be free to enjoy, much like how it was last year.
Cautiously looking toward the future
PAX events following PAX Online are still under consideration. As mentioned above, the vaccination effort is expanding. PAX officials report that they are “cautiously optimistic PAX West and PAX Unplugged will proceed as planned with in-person festivities Sept. 2-6 and Dec. 10-12, respectively.” September is still far away, of course. Anything can happen between now and go time.
PAX East 2021 won’t be the only show to get the cancellation treatment this year as the pandemic continues. Recently, the live event for E3 2021 was reportedly canceled. We believe it will be replaced by an all-digital event, however. Next year, both E3 and PAX organizers plan on returning to live events.