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Gen Con 2020 Is Cancelled

We've been expecting it, after the cancellations of Origins, UK Games Expo, Essen Spiel, Paizocon, and others, but the last big tabletop gaming convention has finally announced that it will be cancelled for 2020.

The event will next take place in Indianapolis from August 5th-8th, 2021. The press release is below; Gen Con owner Pater Adkison talks about the decision here.

The ENnies have announced that the awards will be proceeding as planned, although live-streamed, hosted by Ken Hite and Robin Laws.

This will be the first time in the 50+ year history of Gen Con that we will miss the chance to see each other in person, and it hurts, but nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our attendees and the communities they hail from.


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 PRESS RELEASE



To Our Gen Con Community:

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the cancellation of Gen Con 2020 this August in Indianapolis. The safety and health of our attendees, exhibitors, and staff are of the utmost importance to us, and we cannot in good conscience host a gathering of thousands while doing so could threaten the health of so many.

Like you, we eagerly anticipate Gen Con every summer as a time of fun, connection, and celebration of our shared love of tabletop gaming and geek culture. We hope that the world will look different by August, but after closely following the development of the COVID-19 outbreak, having discussions with our partners in Indianapolis, and in keeping with guidance from the CDC, we can’t see a clear picture of how soon it will be safe for all of us to gather again. The only responsible choice is to cancel the convention this year.

We’re proud of being the largest and longest-running tabletop gaming convention in North America, but we are a small business run by a core team of 14 passionate individuals. To be candid, not having a convention is very tough for us, both emotionally and financially. The show in Indianapolis is our primary focus and source of revenue, and it’s your enthusiasm for gathering around tabletop gaming, as well as the passion and ingenuity of our sponsors, exhibitors, event team, and event organizers, that inspires us to make the show bigger and better every year.

In this regard, we could use your help: If you’ve already purchased your badge for Gen Con 2020 and are willing to roll it forward to Gen Con 2021, it will help us keep our staff employed through these unprecedented times and come back better than ever next year. If you’d like to pursue this option, you don’t have to do anything — we’ll convert your 2020 badge to a badge for 2021. However, if that’s not in your financial picture, we completely understand. Information about requesting a refund can be found here, and all badge holders will be contacted by email with detailed instructions. Additionally, if you’ve booked a hotel through our Housing Portal, your reservation will automatically be canceled without any fees.

All Pop-Up Gen Con events will also be canceled for 2020, and participating retailers will be contacted by email with instructions.

Going through the month of August without doing something to connect and play games together doesn’t seem right to us. During the original dates of the convention (July 30 – Aug 2), we’ll be hosting Gen Con Online, a virtual convention featuring a slate of events and programming you can attend from the safety of your devices and in the comfort of your favorite quarantine sweatpants!

Nothing can replace being at Gen Con in person, but we hope you’ll join us in donning our sweet Gen Con 2020 gear to play games and celebrate the things that bring us together. More details and announcements to follow soon! Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media for the latest updates.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support during this time. We hope that you and your circle of loved ones are safe and healthy! We look forward to seeing your wonderful faces in 2021!

Team Gen Con

Gen Con will return to Indianapolis August 5-8, 2021
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
I assume they've worked out the cancellation with the venue in some way. I know that was an issue GaryCon had been worrying about before government-based restrictions went into place.

That's almost certainly why they waited this long to cancel the event. The negotiations were, I am certain, fierce, in order to keep everyone from losing their metaphorical shirts.
 


Jimmy Dick

Adventurer
I am so bummed out over this even though I know this is also for the best. Since I started going to Gen Con it has become the highlight of my summer. Living tabletop gaming has just been devastated by this pandemic. I really hate sitting here knowing that I can't plan any live games for my lodges until February of 2021 at the earliest. More than likely, it will be March or April, maybe even May before a vaccination is developed and distributed. I can see a requirement for cons where attendees have to show proof of vaccination before being allowed to attend the con. I am certain that will be a requirement for public schools.
 



Jimmy Dick

Adventurer
If a vaccine is made, that is nowhere near a certainty for this type of virus.
I think we'll have one. Despite one individual who shall go nameless but definitely not blameless, the world is pouring a lot of resources into research in order to develop one. If nothing else, we'll get something that drops mortality really low. Plus it is going to mutate. Historically, these things mutate out in 18 months or so.
 


There have been several different labs that have advised that they may be closer to creating a vaccine than expected because they were already working with similar virus strains. This is a good sign that by the end of the year there may be a couple different vaccine options once the test trials have been completed. Normally it would take at least 12 months to get to that point, so all looks good for 2021 -- especially around summer-time. With anti-vaxxers growing in numbers though -- the traditional herd immunity approach may be challenged though. However, I still think the majority of people will take the vaccine. The virus will never be gone and vaccines can react differently with different people, so there will always be a risk, but by mid-2021 that risk should be considerably low. I remain very hopefully that GenCon will be able to host the convention again in 2021.
 
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Retreater

Legend
There have been several different labs that have advised that they may be closer to creating a vaccine that expected because they were already working with similar virus strains. This is a good sign that by the end of the year there may be a couple different vaccine options once the test trials have been completed. Normally it would take at least 12 months to get to that point, so all looks good for 2021 -- especially around summer-time. With anti-vaxxers growing in numbers though -- the traditional herd immunity approach may be challenged though. However, I still think the majority of people will take the vaccine. The virus will never be gone and vaccines can react differently with different people, so there will always be a risk, but by mid-2021 that risk should be considerably low. I remain very hopefully that GenCon will be able to host the convention again in 2021.
@Kor - Orc Scrollkeep I hope you're right. What I've read describes this as an ever-mutating virus that is already a different strain in China. It has been compared to HIV in this regard, very difficult to create a vaccine for. And if this is the case it means we will not be able to have large gatherings for the foreseeable future. (Like how HIV changed our culture forever, so will this.)
I hope that's not right, but I'm still not booking anything for 2021 at this point.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
I think we'll have one. Despite one individual who shall go nameless but definitely not blameless, the world is pouring a lot of resources into research in order to develop one. If nothing else, we'll get something that drops mortality really low. Plus it is going to mutate. Historically, these things mutate out in 18 months or so.

We will see, I can only hope they find something safe and effective or it does mutate into something less of a worry. I just have read that corona viruses are something we have not successfully been able to create vaccine for. Since the mortality rate is really focused on the elderly and those with bad health conditions I think we are going to see changes to how a lot of people live their lives for sure. I just hope we use logic rather than fear when approaching this type of situation.
 

I think being patient and waiting for medical research to be done is a wise choice before attending gaming conventions. It pains me to say that, but given that roleplaying involves going to a place where people sit closely at a table for hours at time, often in tightly packed rooms, is giving the virus exactly what it wants -- a lot of easy to access hosts. People don't typically eat and sleep properly during conventions either so immune systems are often not at their peak performance.

The reason I recommend waiting on the medical research is because of recent new studies that have identified other complications the virus has caused (such as kidney problems in up to 30% of the healthy adults it has infected. and also the small percentage of children worldwide which have experienced multi-system inflammatory syndrome). COVID 19 cannot be brushed off like a flu. Evidence is showing that even us health adults with no underlying conditions may have unexpected complications from it. I don't want to fear monger, but I do want to reiterate that there are still a lot of unknowns about this virus. We can't live life locked away in our homes forever, but being smart and listening to the medical experts is the best course of action we have right now. No mass congregation events should be happening until more is know about this virus, its mutations, and until a vaccine is available. There are currently 10 vaccines that are already in the testing phases, so I think that is very positive news.
 

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