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.



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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Voice Over Artist & 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

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

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.

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