Gaming convention PAX expected to reopen doors in 2021

PAX East return

If you’re invested in the games industry then you’ve probably heard of PAX. PAX is a gaming convention that was previously known as the Penny Arcade Expo. It consists of three main sub-events, PAX East, West, and Unplugged. East is hosted in Boston, West in Seattle, and Unplugged in Philadelphia.

Last year’s Unplugged was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID epidemic. But with plans for a vaccine finally coming together and the epidemic slowing down, this could change soon. The event organizers are targeting a June 2021 return with full crowds in attendance.

The return of PAX

PAX event shotBoth PAX East and Pax West should take place next year dependent on the COVID-19 epidemic improving. However, smaller events such as South and Australia will likely not return until 2022. If approved, next year’s conventions will invite several content creators, developers, and publishers to take part.

Unlike many other gaming conventions, the focus of PAX isn’t to announce new games. Instead it’s a festival of sorts created to celebrate gaming culture as a whole. It first began in 2004 but has since grown exponentially. Last year just one event recorded almost 53,000 attendees. That makes it the second largest gaming convention in North America after E3.

If this sounds exciting and you’re eyeing up a potential trip, keep a few things in mind. For one, this isn’t official yet by any means. Although event organizers are hoping this goes ahead, COVID is unpredictable. We still don’t know for sure if vaccines are safe and distributing them in the US, where national healthcare doesn’t exist, is going to be tricky.

Regardless, we can only pray that this means we are reaching the end-game. If all goes well and the vaccine works as intended, other events should start opening up too. If 2021 can bring back PAX, E3, and Gamescom then it’ll already be on track to be a better year.

Ubisoft has offered an official response to recent sexual assault allegations

Ubisoft

Right now, the games industry is going through a difficult phase. After the outing of popular content creator Tom ‘Syndicate’ Cassell being a potential abuser of multiple past partners, other women have spoken up. Amongst these are several past employees of French games publisher Ubisoft.

The most accused candidate is game designer and writer Chris Avellone. According to several first-hand accounts, Avellone has gotten women “blackout drunk,” in order to make his non-consensual advances easier. Also, Avellone allegedly went on to do much worse at other game conventions.

Ubisoft’s official response

assassins creed valhalla announcement

Although it took them a little while, Ubisoft has now published a formal response to these allegations. The notice reads: “we want to start by apologizing to everyone affected by this.” The publisher goes on to ensure fans it is “dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment,” for its employees and players. If this is just typical PR talk or meaningful words is to be seen.

Although exact details weren’t provided, Ubisoft has confirmed that it is now formally investigating the allegations. No names were provided but the publisher is supposedly using “specialized external consultants,” to avoid potential bias. The response is rounded off by confirming that “additional measures,” will be put in place shortly to avoid this happening again.

This controversy couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Ubisoft. On July 12, the French studio will be hosting its own COVID-19 secure digital conference, Forward. It was set to be a grand event where gamers would get to see all the exciting upcoming titles.

However, it now looks as though the new Assassin’s Creed or For Honor are the least of players’ concerns. Unless the company’s higher ups can address these issues and call out those responsible, Ubisoft’s reputation may never truly recover.

So, what is your opinion about this news? You can leave your comment in the box below.

CRDQ has raised over $400,000 to help tackle COVID-19

CRDQ

The Cororavirus epidemic continues to worsen everyday with governments and companies alike failing to take the necessary measures. Whilst work on a cure and general relief is going on as I type this, a long-term solution still looks distant. But thanks to CRDQ, it might just come that little bit earlier.

The Corona Relief Done Quick speed running charity event has managed to raise just over $400,000 in just one weekend of gaming. This money will be used to distribute masks, gloves, and other sanitary goods to help tackle COViD-19.

CRDQ to the rescue!

CRDQ is the latest speed running focused charity drive ran by the good folks over at Games Done Quick. Since its early origins back in 2011, Games Done Quick has managed to raise over 26 million dollars spanning across 27 different events.

This latest event comes in response to the difficulties many governments are having in providing the necessary health tools. The issue is nowhere more apparent than in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, where several medical professionals have died due to not having the proper equipment.

CRDQ 2020 Nier Automata

With such limited time to prepare it’s understandable that CRDQ 2020 wasn’t the grandest of occasions. Regardless, it still had its share of standout speed runs that you won’t want to miss out on. My personal recommendations are Argick’s Sonic Mania, Etchy’s Pokemon Sword, and Danflesh’s Nier Automata. I found these to be particularly well explained and easy to follow thanks to the runners all doing a great job.

All of CRDQ’s streams are archived on the official GDQ Twitch and will continue to be so for 60 days from their initial broadcast. Beyond that, your best will be their YouTube page where various speed runs are being uploaded gradually. Be sure to keep an eye out for Summer Games Done Quick which will run August 16 through August 23.

Video Game Sales Soar as COVID-19 Imprisons Millions at Home

COVID-19

The video and online gaming industry is experiencing a great boom in their business as people are forced to stay at home during the COVID-19 lockdown and turning towards such entertainment to kill time.

Nintendo announced its latest release in the Animal Crossing franchise, titled as New Horizon, on 20th March. According to Famitsu, a video game magazine, the game sold a staggering 1.8 million copies within a period of three days in Japan.

In UK, the sales of the game outnumbered the sales on all the previous installments in the franchise combined in the 1st week.

The game tempts players to build their own avatars and participate in activities like fishing and collecting items from different islands with the purpose of creating new items and spreading the virtual spaces.

Piers Harding-Rolls, research director for games at Ampere Analysis, told CNBC how the sales figures have exceeded the expectations. The game has been a huge hit due to the fact it is an antithesis to the issues people are encountering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, the Harding-Rolls explains how Animal Crossing has moved beyond the one-tier seller and entered the big league. Apparently, the industry experts believe the COVID-19 outbreak had a huge role to play in the sudden surge in the game’s sales.

Although, all major cities worldwide have gone into a lockdown in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, but some authorities have even gone to a further extreme by shutting down businesses that aren’t considered “essential”. Hence, millions have opted the role of becoming a permanent home resident.

Daniel Ahmed, a Senior Analyst at Niko Partners, states that the pandemic has aided in the sudden surge in sales as more people are locked in their homes, and gaming is easily the safest, most cost-effective form of entertainment.

According to Andrew Little, research analyst at Global X, the consumer video game spending data indicates a considerable increase since the last month. In mid-March, consumers spent 65% more on video games as compared to the same time in 2019.

Another title, launched — Activision Blizzard’s free-to-play first-person shooter, Call of Duty: Warzone, was launched on 10th March and managed to acquire around 30 million players within a span of 10 days. Hence, we can safely that this is the fastest growing non-mobile game until now.

Staying connected through games

Beside the above games, it has been reported that the online service-based games will also see a drastic increase in demand through the pandemic, mainly because people are desperate to connect with others while in quarantine.

Currently, many online service-based titles are registering usage more than ever. Another major reason is that those who previously were not hardcore, frequent gamers, now have ample time to try and play more often.

Another group of people are returning gamers, folks who used to play in the past but have seen their interest wane with time. This group is also expected to come back and revive their old days.

Staying connected through games is the inclination. As people are restricted to meet in real world, at least they can connect and socialize with others across the globe in a virtual fashion.

How is the sector performing?

As the global economy has taken a direct hit from the COVID-19 in recent weeks, the video game industry has seemingly alleviated the impact much better than other major sectors worldwide.

For instance, VanEck’s Gaming and Esports ETF has risen by 2% year-to-date, while the ETFMG Video Game Tech ETF has dropped by only 5% due to the huge market sell-off.

In contrast to these, the Dow Jones Industrial Average alongside S&P 500 registered their worst ever quarter, dropping by almost 23.2% and 20% respectively.

Still, a clear, transparent impact on the video game sector is yet not determined. Although the upcoming, elite games could experience a significant push in online sales as consumers are happy to treat themselves more than ever at the home, the overall revenue figures will be negatively affected due to the shutdown of games retail stores in various major cities. Therefore, digital sales compensating for the overall loss might not be enough.

What Effects Does COVID-19 Has on the Gambling Industry?

COVID-19

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now in every continent (except for Antarctica) and disrupting virtually every business globally. Every government has taken measures to slow the pandemic and to reduce the impact the virus is having on its citizens. There is a sacrifice with every decision. Most people are under executive orders to remain indoors and to refrain from being near other people. This executive order caused restaurants, gyms, shopping malls, and places of worship to shut down in most places until the threat is over. Click here for a list of nonessential businesses.

Social Distancing

The latest term applied to the behavior of people is “Social Distancing.” This means to stay at least six feet away from any other person. Even if a person is in an essential business that can and should remain open and functional during the pandemic, he must remain six feet away from any other human being at all times.

Non-essential businesses, services, and travel are banned. This has forced many businesses to lock their doors and sent many employees home.

People need people

People need people. This is why we congregate. We socialize by meeting for meals, parties, and celebrations. This primal need is what drives us to casinos. We enjoy meeting our friends and meeting new friends. We want to have great food and drinks, enjoy shows, and to try our luck at the casino games. Everyone has their favorite game. Norske casinoer is an industry leader and a global expert on the game of poker. By definition, this casino would be a non-essential business. But for the poker lover, the social citizen, and the employees that work there, it is anything but.

The laws Norske casinoer operates under are some of the strictness laws in the world. They are tested and proven. Industry leader GambleGuys.com tests the caliber of gambling games offered to you at various venues. The combination of the quality of the site, the legal regulations enforced, and the expertise of the games, (especially Poker) puts this site at the head of the line.

Cutting expenses

All kinds of businesses are cutting to the bone trying to hold on until the pandemic passes. People are being laid off. Services are being halted in every industry. Restaurants have closed their dining room and eating out means a to-go window. No one is spending money. Food and supplies are being hoarded in some cases for fear that the food and supplies will run out before the economy stabilizes. In most places, going to a doctor means a video chat as they do not want you to come to their office for fear of what you may catch. Emergency rooms are overflowing and medical supplies are coming up short in global proportions. People are beginning to understand things can get worse before they get better.

Brick and mortar casinos are closed in most countries. The hotels that thrived from casino guests are closed. The restaurants that fed the visitors for days at a time are closed. The gift shops, stores, and nice restaurants that lead to the casinos are closed. Fuel stations are open, but there are curfews and laws that are being enforced, so people are not making the wasted trip. The estimates of how much the Coronavirus has cost the gambling industry is in the hundreds of billions and still climbing. In the United States, the losses in gaming have cost more than $113 billion and are growing daily.

When you add the additional expenses in the gambling industry, such as hotels, flights, car rentals, and food you can see why the number falls sharply every day.

Online casino to the rescue?

Online gambling is not a new adventure. Most people who gamble know about gambling online. Some are playing video games online which is a great way to group with your friends online.

The casino games are the same as the ones you see in the physical casino. The casinos go to great lengths to get you to play online. You will have fun and kill some time, and they will get your business that is concentrated online so it doesn’t dry up any of their fluid assets. This is because As people who are stuck in their homes and trying to find something to do, many are setting up online personal accounts.

The casinos are drawing the customers in with major perks. Browse the sites and find the best perks to get you in. You may be offered money/credits to play with, hundreds of free spins to get you started. If there is a promo elsewhere that you like, don’t be afraid to ask for it. The casinos are in a unique situation. They need to get through the pandemic whole, just like the rest of us.

Points of interest:

  • During the pandemic, most sporting events are canceled. If your sport is betting on football, horses, or other sports events, you will not find them at this time.
  • This is not the time to participate in any type of illegal gambling. Use a quality gambling site. Exercise caution before releasing payment methods.
  • If you find yourself gambling beyond what you can afford, seek help. Gambling and gaming are for adults. Do not spend more than you can afford. 

Every day we move forward toward the goal of getting rid of COVID-19. We will recover. Until then, we must all pull together, and we will survive.