Gen Con has been forced to cancel its 2020 convention due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that is disrupting the entire world.
Players of tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons have to be crushed as the signature convention for the hobby will not be happening this summer.
Coronavirus blues hits Gen Con 2020
The gaming convention announced its cancellation today with a message stating:
“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. “
People who had already bought badges to Gen Con 2020 have two options: they can request a refund or they can automatically have the badge roll over to the 2021 convention.
The convention hopes that most people will choose the latter option as the economic impact of the cancellation due to COVID-19 is huge. The business operating the convention is actually small with only 14 people, and the convention notes that rolling the badges over into 2021 will help keep the workers employed.
Indianapolis, Indiana—the site of Gen Con—has to be dismayed by the news as well. 2019 was a banner year for the convention, attracting 70,000 attendees.
The convention has grown tremendously over the years, beginning with a mere 12 people meeting in the home of Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, back in 1967.
Gen Con surpassed a thousand attendees in 1976, with 1,300 total, and then hit over 10,000 in 1989. The convention moved from Wisconsin to Indiana in 2003 to take advantage of the superior convention infrastructure in place in Indianapolis.
Virtual con announced
However, not all is lost for gamers this summer. The convention announced Gen Con Online, a virtual convention that will take place July 30 through August 2, the same dates as the canceled convention.
The online convention will feature streaming shows, remote gaming, and more. No further details are available at this time.
Overall, this has been a tough year for geeks due to COVID-19. The biggest convention in the United States, San Diego Comic-Con was canceled and many other geek-themed cons have been shut down as well, such as Emerald City Comic Con and MomoCon.