Gen Con was cancelled this year due to public safety concerns over a rampaging virus. At short notice, the convention moved online.
Gen Con reports that 40,000 people took part and that there were nearly 7,000 different events. Even more viewers, 41,000, visited the Through the Looking Glass virtual hall and the 474 publishers therein.
More than 140 hours of content was live-streamed across the convention’s three official Twitch channels and, at one point, nearly 13,000 people were viewing.
Gen Con President David Hoppe told press;
The tabletop gaming industry and hobby run on the power of connecting with other human beings across a table. When we started planning Gen Con Online, we knew that the passion and enthusiasm of gamers wouldn’t change —but the table would have to,”
Pivoting from a physical convention to a digital one in on such a short timeline was difficult challenge, but it provided our team an opportunity to explore new tools and strategies for producing our event. And in the end, what made Gen Con Online come together and feel like Gen Con was, as always, our incredible attendees and the strength of our community.”
The Discord server, in which this blogger lurked, for the event, had nearly 7,500 users sign up and over 36,000 messages sent. Of course, these figures can’t track the private or group chats spun off from the central server.
Jeff Alvarez, President of Paizo, went on the record to say;
“Thank you to Gen Con for putting on yet another fantastic show! Even in the face of an international pandemic, it was amazing to see the gaming community unite and support one another like they have over the last four days. Truly an awe-inspiring moment and we are already looking forward to next year’s show!”
Gen Con will return next year and will run from August 5th to August 8th. You can find the 2021 show, and others, in Geek Native’s convention calendar.
Gen Con has not said whether Gen Con Online will return.
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