Video game conference PAX West, which was set to take place in Seattle this year, has been canceled and replaced with a digital iteration called PAX Online.
ReedPop, the event’s organizer, announced Tuesday that the digital program will run from Sept. 12-20. The PAX Australia physical event, which would have taken place in October in Melbourne, was also canceled.
On the festival’s website, a brief explanation was offered that indirectly referenced the coronavirus pandemic and the safety issue it presented.
“Back in April, 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,” read the statement from organizers. “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.”
The statement continued, “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.”
There will be three channels worth of streamed content offering digital versions of the panels, concerts and competitions that usually characterize the conference. Esports tournaments will be held throughout the week, the website further teased.
PAX Online will be free and open to the public, and will include chat rooms for attendees to connect online. More information will be offered in the coming weeks.
Additionally on Tuesday, ReedPop announced the cancellation of Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con, which is to be replaced with a digital event in August.