ReedPop and Penny Arcade announced this morning that PAX East 2021 won't be happening and instead have changed it to PAX Online 2021. The company released the statement below from Kyle Marsden-Kish, who is the PAX Event Director at ReedPop, letting fans know they have scrapped the event in June in Boston and will be going back to an online event in July, while also cautiously planning PAX West in September and PAX Unplugged in November. The decision came due to the current state of the pandemic, and while people are getting vaccinated, the likelihood of having a major convention with a mostly vaccinated crowd by June seems unlikely. Not to mention, while they didn't address it here, the state of Massachusetts is still making people fill out travel forms before they enter the state.
The online convention is the safer route, and they managed to announce it before they started selling tickets or floor space, so unless you chose to plunk down a hotel ahead of time, no one is out any money on the endeavor. We'll see what programming they have in the weeks to come, but as far as live events go, PAX West seems a little more likely and would probably be the best event for PAX to return with all-around since it was the original.
In light of ongoing public health concerns, ReedPop and Penny Arcade will not hold PAX East this year. Given the United States' progress towards addressing COVID-19 in recent months, we are cautiously optimistic PAX West and PAX Unplugged will proceed as planned with in-person festivities Sept. 3-6 and Dec. 10-12, respectively.Since we can't wait until September to reconnect with the wonderful PAX community, PAX Online will return July 15-18. We hope to build on the success of last year's record-breaking event and also engage with our community in new ways, such as the Indie Showcase that will take place between now and PAX Online. Expect to hear more about these exciting plans soon.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. 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.ReedPop and Penny Arcade will continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19, observe government guidelines and local laws, and defer to health officials and experts on what is deemed safe. We are grateful for the efforts everyone made to make PAX East happen in 2021, and we look forward to returning to Boston in 2022.