The organizers of the PAX events have confirmed that PAX West and PAX Aus will not be held in their originally intended physical formats in 2020 due to the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, they will be combined into a virtual event known as PAX Online.
“In our previous post, we explained that while we still had hoped to bring you PAX West this year, protecting the safety and health of our community is our highest priority,” reads a recent post on the PAX blog. “The more we worked on a solution, the more it became clear that if we really wanted to welcome everybody home, we’d have to remove the physical barriers entirely, and simply take PAX Online.”
According to the PAX Online organizers, the current plan is not to simply convert the intended PAX West and PAX Aus content into a digital format. Instead, PAX Online will be a completely reimagined showcase designed to take advantage of the digital medium.
The most notable change coming to PAX Online in relation to previous versions of the event is the scope of its timeframe. PAX Online is currently scheduled to run 24 hours a day from September 12th through the 20th. That time frame will be filled with various livestreams that feature “content, events, discussions, and gameplay.”
While the PAX team doesn’t detail all of the content that will be featured during that impressive timeframe, they do confirm that these streams will feature “digital adaptations of the panels, concerts, and competitions that pack our theatres at a traditional PAX.” On top of that, the streams will include eSport events as well as a few surprises.
What’s especially interesting is how PAX Online will replace certain staples of physical conventions. For instance, the event will be organizing the release of certain demos which would have previously been limited to PAX booths. They’ll also be selling an array of merchandise related to the show online.
Finally, the PAX team has confirmed that PAX Online will be completely free to all virtual attendees, so there’s no need to sign-up for badges. If you’re interested in being a digital presenter, though, you can sign-up for that starting now.
At this point, it’s safe to assume that you won’t be attending any physical conventions in 2020. E3 has already been cancelled, EGX is leaving room open for formatting changes, and even San Diego Comic-Con 2020 has been cancelled as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.