Like many other conventions this year, Gen Con 2020 is no longer happening because of COVID-19.
Gen Con is one of the two biggest board gaming conventions in the world. Each year, it brings thousands of fans to Indianapolis to play and see all the latest new games available. Unfortunately, due to ongoing concerns around COVID-19, the live con will be taking the year off to ensure the safety of “attendees, exhibitors, & staff”. This is, of course, not a surprising move. Many conventions around the world have been forced to close due to the pandemic. However, that doesn’t make it any less sad for the people who attend this show each year.
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the cancellation of Gen Con 2020. The safety of our attendees, exhibitors & staff are of the utmost importance to us & we cannot in good conscience host a large gathering while doing so could threaten the health of so many. ?
— Gen Con (@Gen_Con) May 19, 2020
Again, this is unquestionably the right choice. Staying safe is of utmost importance during this time. It’s great to see Gen Con making the smart decision here. And, it’s not like the show can’t go on in some form. We’ve already seen smaller board game conventions like the CMON Expo move online. Gen Con plans to do the same.
The interesting part will be what exactly do they show? After all, the two biggest reasons to go to Gen Con are to buy newly released games and see all the new announcements. I would expect, given the difficulties they could have in shipping games, that the team will let publishers make their own video and then host them under the Gen Con moniker. It could work a little like Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest where a bunch of smaller announcements takes place under one large banner to drive more interest.
The other intriguing part of this will be how people pick up their Gen Con games. Many board gamers buy new games throughout the year and then pick them up when they release at Gen Con. It saves on shipping and hypes the event in the process. Without that delivery option, companies will need to figure out how to get games to the people.
It’s also worth pointing out that Essen Spiel, the other big board gaming convention, postponed their 2020 event yesterday. Without either of the big-name conventions happening this year, many things will have to change in the board gaming space. And none of this is even mentioning potential production set-backs that might happen due to COVID-19.
All of that being said, there are already so many great board games for you to play. In fact, these cancellations and postponements might be the perfect reason for you to hop back into some old favorites. Either way, stay with DualShockers for all your board gaming news.