With the COVID-19 global pandemic raging on, we’re not surprised to hear that PAX West and PAX Australia have been cancelled. Well, the in-person version of these events anyway. Similar to other companies who’ve pivoted to online-only events this year, Penny Arcade confirmed today that they’re not only switching to a digital format, they’re also merging PAX West and PAX Australia together.
PAX West and PAX Australia will be held online
It’s been a terrible year for gaming events, with everything being cancelled due to COVID-19. It makes sense as the illness is one that people should be taking seriously by practicing social distancing. That said, it’s perfectly normal to feel disappointed, especially if you’re a frequent attendee of events like PAX West.
Rather than cancel the event entirely and wait until 2021, Penny Arcade has decided to merge PAX West and PAX Australia together as one big digital event. That’s right, you can attend PAX from the comfort of your own home!
On the PAX website, the online event is described as follows:
“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. 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.
Going digital means a lot more than just a change in venue though, and by transcending the physical, in fact, we’re able to do more PAX than ever before! PAX Online is the result of the convention-organizing supergroup made up of the people responsible for PAX West,
PAX Australia, as well as our new friends at EGX to create our new PAX Online and deliver a steady 24/7 stream of content, events, discussions, and gameplay. Oh, and did we say 24/7? We actually meant 24/9, because we’re going to be running this virtual shindig for nine straight days, from September 12th through the 20th.”
The post goes on to answer questions gamers may have about PAX Online. According to the website, PAX Online will be free and will take place from September 12 to September 20. Panels will continue with panelists participating from home and streamed to the official PAX Twitch. Esports tournaments will continue as well, again, with participants showcasing their skills from home.
Booths and the floor experience will be offered digitally, though it’s unclear how the Expo hall will be presented online. It will give attendees the ability to download and demo games, and this is one of the areas where PAX Online can be a bit more inclusive than physical PAX events as you won’t have to wait in line to demo a game.
Official PAX merch will also be available for purchase online, again saving you from having to wait in line to buy your shirts and pins. Looking for a social experience? It sounds like PAX Online will also feature chat rooms and groups to help you connect with other gamers all across the globe.
As a whole, PAX Online sounds like a groundbreaking experience. Even when physical PAX events open back up (hopefully in 2021) we hope they continue PAX Online. A lot of gamers are unable to attend PAX events physically due to limited funds, resources, or accessibility issues. With PAX Online, everyone is able to join in on the fun.
We’re really looking forward to PAX Online this year, and we’ll be sure to update you on the event as more information is made available. Until then, what are your thoughts on PAX Online? Are you planning to participate this September? Comment below! You can also check out a panel we were on at PAX East earlier this year in the video embedded above.