We already knew that E3, Tokyo Games Show and Gamescom, the three big video game related trade shows and conventions, were cancelled this year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other related events in game-adjacent spaces like San Diego Comic Con have also followed suit. But an announcement that Gen Con 2020 is now cancelled, while grimly anticipated, is still deeply disappointing.
Gen Con is primarily for board games, card games and tabletop RPGs what E3 is for video games. However, because of the strong amount of cross-over into the video game space, particularly with Wizards of The Coast being a consistently prominent exhibitor, there's often a small amount of cross-over.
And with video games like Baldur's Gate 3 and Magic: Legends in the works, it would have been a good opportunity for companies to tease out news on current projects as well as getting the latest scoop on upcoming board games based off video game titles.
Gen Con's staff put out the following press release:
Gen Con, the largest and longest-running tabletop gaming convention in North America, announced today that their upcoming 2020 convention in Indianapolis has been canceled due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. The decision was made after extensive consideration and in consultation with Indianapolis government officials and public health authorities. Gen Con will return to the Indiana Convention Center August 5-8, 2021
Additionally, the convention's organizers have announced that anybody who bought a badge for Gen Con 2020 can either obtain a refund or roll it forward for Gen Con 2021. Much like their video game counterparts, Gen Con is working on a virtual convention, Gen Con Online. Slated to run from July 30 through August 2, which were the original dates for the convention, it's promising "four days of events and programming you can attend from the safety of your devices and in the comfort of your favorite quarantine sweatpants!"