UK video game expo EGX is joining with PAX Online for a September 12-20 event.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has prompted UK games expo EGX to turn itself into EGX Digital: a nine-day, 24-hour online expo featuring developers sessions, panels, playable games and showcases, live Let's Plays and esports and virtual meet-and-greets.
PAX Online was already a replacement event for video game, card game and board game fan expos PAX West (September 4-7 in Seattle, USA) and PAX Australia (October 9-11 in Melbourne), both operated by EGX parent ReedPOP, and EGX Digital is to be part of the same event.
Announced midway through June, PAX Online will diverge from PAX tradition and, eschewing the usual badge-purchasing customs of PAXes past, it will be free of charge.
Official merchandise shops will also move entirely online, providing a revenue stream for the groups involved.
EGX 2020 would have taken place September 17-20, with PAX Online beginning September 12.
The video game community has been swift to adapt to postponements and cancellations brought about by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The indie games community's LudoNarraCon, a festival for story-driven games often not well suited to noisy expo conditions, had already found success in 2019 with its entirely online format and repeated the feat in April 2020; other community-focused remote participation initiatives such as NotGDC could also rely on previous experience.
E3 2020, already grappling with challenges to its elevated position within the annual video games industry, opted for outright cancellation, prompting major publishers and indie games companies alike to host their own showcase events or spotlight announcements instead, several conglomerating under the Summer Games Fest banner.