The halls were decked, holly was hung, parties were thrown, and the collective hangover of the past decade has started to wear off just a bit. Now is the time for the most important moment after coming together to revel in peace, joy, and excess. No, not those shakily made, half-hearted resolutions, but a new year of the hype train rolling into stations across the world to bring glimpses of the future of gaming in 2020.
The first two quarters of the year are packed with large, important events in the gaming world wherein publishers and studios start unveiling the precious deets about games and hardware we want, and the ones we didn’t even know we wanted. Industry vets, journalists of all walks, dazzling influencers, and star eyed fans will soon crowd into tight spaces to share their passion with hopes and expectations high. All eyes are on the heavy hitters to see what could be amazing, or perhaps even breathtaking, in the coming year.
PAX SOUTH, PAX EAST
South: January 17 - 19, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas
East: February 27 - March 1, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts
Originally, the Penny Arcade Expo launched in Seattle in the olden days of 2004 by Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik as a fan-centric celebration of all things gaming. PAX has since then become a monolithic presence to rival its older peers. PAX South was first held in 2015 and is the first of the sibling events to kick off the year in sunny San Antonio. PAX East, the first expansion to the roster in 2010, follows up South shortly after in February.
The PAX events are consistently a huge draw for fans of all forms of games with panels and events to tantalize someone from every background. There are signings, concerts, LAN parties, free play rooms, and even the Omegathon where random guests can compete for fabulous prizes. With such a diverse cross section of fandoms in attendance expect to see some peeks at the year ahead in gaming dropped at opportune times.
January 24 - 26 in Leipzig, Germany.
February 21 - 23 in Anaheim, California, USA.
May 22 - 24 in Dallas, Texas, USA.
June 12 - 14 in Jönköping, Sweden
Starting out as a small gathering of classmates and friends in an elementary school basement in Malung, Sweden in the 90’s, Dreamhack has grown to be the biggest computer festival in the world. Premiering and showcasing the bleeding edge of the e-sports scene it has since been integral to the advancement of the growing field. Each Dreamhack features dedicated e-sports events, art and technical expos, live concerts, and all manner of entertainment for the digital age. It is a colorful, hectic, multinational, multidisciplinary beast that brings out the joy in gaming. Expect to see studios attending with hands-on demos of new and upcoming games.
ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT EXPO
June 9 - 11 in in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Capping out the first half of the year the Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, is probably the industry convention with the most press behind it out of all of them. E3 was founded in 1995 as video games exploded in popularity in the public eye and the extant trade shows became too small a venue to present the rapid advancements. Primarily a show with booths meant to appeal to professionals and retailers more than the average fan, the expo has had to walk the line between a closed and open format, with the first limited public passes being handed out starting in 2015.
Over the years, various publishers have declined to use E3 as a showcase, Nintendo and Electronic Arts most prominently, but last year Sony was also a glaring absence in the lineup having opted to not attend at all and rather hold their own events. Initially speculating that this was due to Sony not having a deep catalog of upcoming titles and expecting them to resume attendance again in 2020, the surety of them being there this year has been put into question. VGC has claimed that sources and industry analyst Michael Pachter have heard that Sony isn’t planning on being at the expo this year again despite the upcoming Playstation 5 launch. Either way, E3 is always full of interesting, shiny new things and only time will tell if that will include Sony in the equation.
Matt lives for games and literature, a happy wanderer through the many fantastic worlds they offer. Whether it be shooting bad guys in some distant future or saving elves from the clutches of evil, he is always up for the journey. He shares this love with his wife who often travels those worlds with him as a welcome companion.