PAX West is coming back in September as an in-person event

PAX West 2019
(Image credit: Penny Arcade)

In December 2020, Penny Arcade announced "optimistic" dates for 2021 PAX events—tentative because the future state of the Covid-19 pandemic was completely unclear at the time. It's become somewhat clearer in recent months, however, to the point that PAX West has now been confirmed as an in-person event that will take place in September.

Unsurprisingly, PAX West 2021 will be a smaller event than those of pre-Covid days. Details are yet to be nailed down, but organizers say they are now "working with venue officials, local governments, and health authorities to determine event capacity, which will be reduced, and ensure a safe setting." More information on health and safety protocols will be released closer to the show.

"It’s been almost two years since the last PAX West, and it's been surreal to imagine its triumphant return," Penny Arcade co-founder Jerry Holkins said. "I can't think of a better excuse to leave the house than PAX West."

Case numbers in Washington State are still high: Over the weekend, state officials reported nearly 1,100 new cases, 72 hospitalizations, and ten deaths, according to KOMO News. But the state is currently either close to, or slightly past, a 70% vaccination rate (State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control estimates vary) and once officials have determined that target has been surpassed, the Department of Health says Washington "will be open for business and recreation, and people who are vaccinated can go along with their regular lives for the most part." There will, however, be restrictions on "large indoor events like sports, concerts, and conventions," which will no doubt factor into PAX planning.

Tickets for PAX West, which is scheduled to run September 3-6, will go on sale in the next two weeks, and will cost $60 each for daily access (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday), or $230 for a four-day badge. PAX Online East, the digital event replacing the cancelled PAX East, will run ahead of that, over July 15-18; optional tickets for that are available now for $15 each, although basic access to the event itself is free.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.