Gen Con 2020 Cancelled

Gen Con 2020 Cancelled

So, not my main topic for today, but I figured that it was probably worth posting about. I know last year my Gen Con coverage with the games that I picked up and got to demo or play there was fairly popular and I was looking forward to going to Gen Con again this year.

However, like many things in 2020, Gen Con has been cancelled. Not really surprised by it, even with Indiana having plans to slowly re-open the state as it flattens the curve on Covid-19, having so many people come from not just out of state but around the world would have been risky for not only the people attending Gen Con, but also the population of Indiana/Indianapolis just with more chances of the disease being spread.

Am I saddened that Gen Con won’t be happening this year? Yes, it saddens me, but I have been expecting it for a while. They might have figured out a way with their costs as to not go bankrupt, and they have announced the dates for Gen Con 2021 that I’m already looking forward to going to.

I think we have to ask what this means for board game companies. While sales are huge at Gen Con and a chance to get people excited about your game that is coming to Kickstarter, the cost of shipping games and paying for the space is also high. For more established game companies, they’ll be able to release their Gen Con games through their own stores and probably end up making about as much money. But it will hurt on the hype. There’s always some hot game coming out of Gen Con that does more sales because of buzz built there than it would have otherwise. Likewise, smaller or newer companies, one of the biggest benefits is brand recognition. When people walk through the dealer hall multiple times, they can run across a company that they haven’t seen before. It might be a harder year for those less established companies, just for brand recognition.

Finally, they are doing something as an online Gen Con over the same time period. To be determined what that is. But I’m glad that a lot of cons that are being cancelled, CMONExpo, Board Game Geek, Dice Tower East, and more are doing online “conventions”. This might be something as little as them playing games online or talking about upcoming games and giveaways and things of that nature, but it’s nice to have those board gaming options still show up. It won’t be the same, but hopefully it’ll be a chance for some board game companies to still get the brand recognition and game sales that they need to keep the hobby growing.

Were you planning on going to Gen Con this year? What do you want from an online version of the convention?

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