The organisers of PAX West have announced that this year’s event will not go ahead, due to ongoing coronavirus concerns, and instead will be replaced by a new nine-day digital event, PAX Online.
The new digital event was revealed on the official PAX website, alongside a statement explaining the changes. “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 organisers wrote. “The more we worked on a solution, the more it became clear that […] we’d have to remove the physical barriers entirely and simply take PAX Online.”
PAX Online is a collaboration between PAX West, PAX Australia and Gamer Network’ EGX which will deliver fans a “stream of content, events, discussions and gameplay” from September 12 to 20.
The statement also teased an increase in the amount of content that attendees can expect at the the digital event. “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,” organisers noted.
The statement confirms that the event will take place around the clock, with all nine days being 24-hour streams. It also answers many important questions on how certain aspects of the physical events will translate onto a digital platform.
“In addition to digital adaptations of the panels, concerts and competitions that pack our theatres at a traditional PAX, we’ve got some new and exciting stuff as well as a few surprises planned,” it stated.
PAX Online will also be hosting online tournaments throughout the week. As for other aspects of the event, PAX says it is “prepared to offer a host of different ways to interact with the greater PAX community including custom chat rooms” and will also be selling merchandise online.
The cancellation of PAX West 2020 comes just a day after PAX Australia announced it would be pulling the plug on its live event this year, due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.