PAX Aus announced on August 10th that due to the ongoing risks presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the beloved video game exhibition, scheduled for October, would be postponed.
Via social media, the replacement event, tentatively set to occur in early 2022, was announced to be all virtual in order to better safeguard the community regardless of the status of the Covid-19 virus.
This will be the second year in a row without a PAX Aus event as the 2020 convention was also cancelled due to safety concerns over Covid-19 wherein organisers hoped for a 2021 return.
Without social restrictions, PAX Aus has boasted over 80,000 attendees from all over Australia and the world in a cultural event that brings together volunteers, developers and various video game community members.
While known for showcasing up-and-coming video games and studios, PAX has always served as a platform for tabletop games and various other video game merchandise and support systems.
PAX Aus social media channels stated how the decision to postpone and go virtual was not made easily and the heartbroken sentiment expressed by PAX Aus has been reflected by fans and community members.
This transition to virtual planning falls in line with other global PAX conventions (PAX Online) and numerous other prestigious video game events such as E3 and the Game Awards to combat the unpredictable circumstances of the raging virus.
This announcement also came shortly after the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) announced that Games Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP), “Australia’s premier professional development and networking event for the game development industry” would also be transitioned to a virtual only event to better provide accessibility and safety to attendees.
All is not lost for volunteers and exhibitors as other platforms are stepping up to help showcase and support the teams that now miss out on a key marketing and networking window.
The announcement comes as New South Wales buckles under widespread transmission of the Delta variant and Victoria enters its sixth lockdown to combat community transmissions, with various other alerts and lockdowns across Australia.
Concern now turns to whether the organisers of the Melbourne International Games Week will follow suit with the decision and transition to an all virtual event, which they successfully produced in 2020.
Ticket owners were advised they would be fully refunded for the price of their tickets with tailored instructions to be sent out shortly.