QuakeCon will remain online-only for one more year

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

After a couple of years of online events because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some big industry showcases, like GDC and PAX, have been returning to in-person gatherings in 2022. QuakeCon will not be one of them, however. Bethesda announced today that QuakeCon 2022 will be digital-exclusive when it rolls around in August.

"Like you, we're disappointed to not return to Dallas this year," Bethesda wrote. "An event of this size requires months of planning, and in this case, we had to make decisions when there was still too much uncertainty to commit to successfully executing an in-person QuakeCon."

See more

Bethesda is still nailing down plans for the show, which will include streaming, giveaway, charity opportunities, online meetups, and the "virtual BYOC." BYOC, for those unfamiliar, is Bring Your Own Computer—basically an opportunity to take part in the biggest LAN party in North America (and show off your rig while you're at it.). Obviously you can't really bring your own computer to the virtual BYOC, but as Rich noted last year it's such a big QuakeCon tradition that it can't just be cut completely.

The decision to stay online-exclusive is no doubt disappointing for fans eager to get back to a face-to-face meetup, but it's also understandable. The pandemic is ongoing—Johns Hopkins reported 561 new deaths on April 12, down from the record high of 4,431 daily deaths of January 20, 2021 but still an awful lot—and should the situation continue to spiral, Bethesda could end up on the hook for a lot of wasted time and money if new public health measures are imposed or people decide that attending a large in-person event simply isn't worth the risk.

Specifics on QuakeCon 2022, which will run August 18-20, will be announced in June. Bethesda also said that it is committed to bringing QuakeCon back as a "full in-person festival" in 2023.

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.