QuakeCon will return in-person for 2023, but with some big changes

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

After three years of being online-only because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bethesda Softworks has announced that QuakeCon will return to in-person action in 2023.

"QuakeCon is our favorite event of the year, and we can’t wait to finally see our incredible QuakeCon community in-person again, celebrate games, and frag all weekend with thousands of friends," id Software boss Marty Stratton said. "For our first year back, QuakeCon 2023 is focusing on the fan favorite BYOC and the players that made QuakeCon the best gaming gathering for more than 25 years."

BYOC is "Bring Your Own Computer," which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Bring your own PC and hook into a massive, non-stop LAN party that runs through the entire event. The LAN is notable not just for its sheer size—we're talking thousands of PCs at once—but also for the extravaganza of case mods on display, which never fails to impress.

In previous years, general admission to QuakeCon was free, while anyone who wanted to take part in BYOC had to pony up for a ticket. For 2023, however, Bethesda is going all-in on the LAN, and dropping the exhibit hall and general admission access: QuakeCon 2023 "will be a ticketed-only event with admittance limited to pre-registered BYOC guests," Bethesda said.

Like most other major gaming conventions, QuakeCon opted to go online-only for 2020-2022 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused more than 1.1 million deaths in the US alone. But with the daily death count now below 300, according to the CDC, the US government recently declared that the Covid-19 "public health emergency" will be ended on May 11.

Despite the focus on the BYOC mega-LAN, there will be other things to see and do at QuakeCon 2023 including community events, tabletop games, the QuakeCon Finals Party, and the Quake World Championships. A full schedule will be announced "soon."

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.