PAX Australia will no longer be held as an in-person event, with the show cancelled in favour of an online convention instead.
The event will be replaced with an online-only event, although the lack of a physical show for a second year running will understandably disappoint many fans. Concerns had been hovering around a physical convention all yea. Not only was the rise of Delta outbreaks across Australia an issue, but many vendors faced problems representing international clients at PAX Australia due to global policies barring any physical events for the rest of 2021.
The move to an online-only show, as was the case with PAX Online in 2020 and PAX East earlier this year.
It’s an understandably sensible move given the Australian landscape. The continued outbreak in Sydney — which isn’t liable to have lifted until October, according to frank comments from the Police Minister — means no-one from the state would be eligible to attend. That includes many of the major gaming publishers, whose bases are located in and around Sydney.
The cancellation comes only five months after Reedpop, organisers of the PAX conventions, announced PAX Australia would return in-person. Despite a lack of COVID-19 cases at the time, precautions still meant capacity for the show was severely limited to 10,000 attendees a day, with time-gaps between sessions.
PAX’s closure follows a similar move by Oz Comic-Con, which postponed its Brisbane 2021 event indefinitely and delayed its Sydney show to October 23-24. “We are incredibly disappointed but without guaranteed easing of restrictions, we are left with little choice,” the organisers announced.
PAX Australia announced in March that all tickets would be refunded by any border closures or COVID-19 restrictions. Anyone seeking refunds should head to the PAX Australia website for more details over the coming week.
This story originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.