After spending weeks on tenterhooks regarding the decision to cancel Gen Con, the event team has announced the convention will not take place this year. The event, the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America, drew in approximately $70 million last year for the Indianapolis economy. It also serves as a vital revenue stream for the myriad organizations and companies attending the convention. After its relocation from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the convention has celebrated all things board games in Indianapolis. It's a time of celebration, with a plethora of events, incredible food trucks, and all the board games you can fit into the trunk of your car.
It also attracts tens of thousands of fans into a cramped space. The team announced their cancellation of Gen Con festivities over COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands dead and devastated countless families across the world. Team members deliberated with municipal officials and public health experts before concluding that the convention should be canceled for public safety.
As for the many attendees, Gen con has pledged to roll badges forward for next year's Gen Con. Ticket-purchasers may also request a refund. Any hotel reservations made through Gen Con's housing block are also refunded. Pop-Up Gen Con events have been canceled and the event spaces will go unused this year. View the full details of the cancellation on the Gen Con website. The team has, however, promised an alternative.
Like other conventions that have already embraced virtual spaces for congoers, such as ACEN, Gen Con will have its own digital event called Gen Con Online. Gen Con Online will be a free virtual convention that will feature livestreams, events, and programming that viewers can watch at home. In the meantime, Gen Con has promised more information to come in the following weeks. Their various social media accounts can be found here. Leonard Hoops, the CEO and president of tourism organization Visit Indy, commented on Gen Con's cancellation.
We know this was a very difficult decision for Gen Con to make, but we understand and support their decision. They're great partners and we're mutually committed for the long term. For me and so many others in our community, Gen Con 2021 can't come soon enough.
In the meantime, please check back with us at Techraptor for future updates regarding Gen Con and all your other gaming and tabletop industry news. Above all, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe.