The PAX East 2021 gaming convention, previously scheduled for June 3rd through 6th, has been canceled, Penny Arcade and event coordination company ReedPop announced today. The PAX organizers also announced an online convention, PAX Online 2021, for July 15th to July 18th.
“While we hoped PAX East could safely take place, we remained realistic and did not sell any tickets or space to exhibitors to avoid significantly inconveniencing our friends and partners,” Kyle Marsden-Kish, the PAX event director at ReedPop, said in a statement. “As we have shown via our actions throughout the pandemic, our utmost concern is the safety of the PAX family — from attendees, exhibitors, and show staff to media and content creators — as well as the local communities that host our celebrations of all things gaming. We will only move forward with a live PAX once we are confident the show will be safe for everyone.”
The conference organizers said that PAX East will happen again in Boston in 2022, but no specific date was given. They are also “cautiously optimistic” that PAX West and PAX Unplugged will still happen as planned as in-person events in September and December, respectively. Last year, PAX West was canceled and replaced with the first PAX Online, which took place in September as a nine-day virtual event.
Many conventions in 2021 have had to shift their schedules or make changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the weekend, the organizers of the San Diego Comic-Con announced a three-day in-person event set for the Friday through Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend in November. At the beginning of March, the organizers had announced that the planned July conference event would be virtual instead of in person. And Anime Expo 2021, also previously set as an in-person event in July, announced this month that it would shift to an online event.