Yesterday, ReedPOP announced that it is canceling PAX South indefinitely with no plans on when or whether it will return. The organizers blamed the lack of growth and the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
According to a statement from ReedPOP sent to former PAX South participants and later posted on the official PAX Twitter account, while others PAX events grew year after year, PAX South did not.
“When the first PAX was held in 2004, we expected at most a hundred locals to show up,” said ReedPOP and PAX organizers. “Never in our wildest dreams had we expected more than 3,000 passionate fans to arrive, or that our one-time event would turn into a series held in five cities around the world. While each of our other events has blossomed, some of them draw Hundreds of thousands of participants from all over the world, PAX South has not expanded and has to some extent remained the same show as it was when we opened it in 2015. “
As mentioned above, PAX South started in 2015, where the first event was held in San Antonio. The show was a small production, with ReedPOP’s official website describing the event as a “more indie drive and table-heavy show”. As a result, the event was always one of the smaller PAX shows that drew fewer attendees and major publishers compared to older, more popular events like PAX East.
As a result of the lack of growth and persistent problems caused by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, ReedPOP made the “difficult decision” to end future PAX South events in the “foreseeable future.”
While the wording of the statement leaves the possibility open that PAX South could return, possibly in a different state or form, many smaller developers and fans are disappointed with the news. For many people, PAX South was a closer, cheaper alternative to the larger gaming conventions and PAX events.