PAX, like many other events, is officially pivoting toward a digital show for 2020 with organizers Penny Arcade and ReedPOP announcing that both of this year’s remaining PAX events have now been called off.
It’s another major shift for the game developers that might’ve relied on big shows like PAX West or PAX Aus to showcase their upcoming projects, but not an unexpected one by any means given the current state of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers say that they’re planning on rolling both events into the newly announced PAX Online, scheduled as a free 9 day online event spanning September 12 through 20. That replacement aims to capture the usual spirt of the on-location shows, which according to a press release means “game reveals, exclusive hands-on experiences, the chance to hear from and speak with your favorite game developers.”
For developers, that means there’s still a chance to reap some of the benefits usually offered by the on-location shows. PAX has info on some of those opportunities like panel submissions or its digital indie game showcase up now on the PAX Online website.
Penny Arcade and ReedPOP typically host six shows together throughout the year. Two of them, PAX South in January and PAX East in February, managed to sneak in just before the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread in the United States. PAX Unplugged, a tabletop-centric show, still appears to be scheduled for November 20-22 in Philadelphia. There's no mention of a replacement for PAX Dev, the developer-focused event that typically takes place in Seattle right before the now-canceled PAX West.