MMO Business Roundup: PAX Online, PAX Aus, games for ADHD, Epic’s $17B valuation


Welcome back to another quick roundup of video games business and industry news that bumps into our little old MMO genre over here.

PAX: PAX announced today that PAX West has become the latest gaming convention to throw in the towel over COVID-19, in spite of its previous reluctance.

“In our previous post, we explained that while we still had hoped to bring you PAX West this year, protecting the safety and health of our community is our highest priority. The more we worked on a solution, the more it became clear that if we really wanted to welcome everybody home, we’d have to remove the physical barriers entirely, and simply take PAX Online.”

PAX Online will run from September 12th through the 20th (I’m exhausted already) and will be fully open to the public, complete with digital adaptions of the panels, esports events, downloads, chat rooms, and merch.

Also worth noting here is that PAX Australia was supposed to run from October 9th to 11th in Melbourne, but PAX has postponed it – and by “postponed” we mean canceled it so thoroughly that the next one will run in 2021, though we don’t know when. “We have been working hard with our partners and exhibitors to explore all viable options but with our desire to bring you the best PAX Aus ever, the next edition of PAX Aus will now take place in 2021.” Australia currently counts over 7000 cases of the virus and only 102 deaths, but it seems unlikely that world travel will be back in full swing and safe before October, no doubt contributing to the decision.

Health: Gaming is used for everything – so why not for treating attention-deficit disorders? That’s exactly what Project EVO will be doing thanks to a new decision from the FDA that allows the use of a specific game for ADHD – with a doctor’s prescription, anyway, making it the first video game available as, well, medicine.

Epic: Finally, Epic Games has a lot of money, and it would like even more money. Or at least it would like you to think it’s worth a lot more money. Really, it’s not that different. In any case, the company is nearing completion of a fresh funding round for $750M from investors, which will boost the company’s total valuation to $17B. That’s a B for billyuns.


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Jack Pipsam

Another thing about PAX AUS, Melbourne is the state capital of Victoria (my state) which is tracking for almost all the new COVID cases in Australia currently.

Our various states all closed borders to each-other to prevent interstate travel, so while many of our states are in-fact more-0r-less COVID-free, Victoria is still experiencing daily clusters of new cases and after the BLM march we won’t know for an other week if that’ll cause another spike in cases.

So apart from global travel unlikely to return, there’s also the question of if COVID-free states are going to actually lift their own state restrictions to Victoria as they might keep us blocked as they open up with each-other. They might all be safe but we might still be in a pickle. So it makes perfect sense that PAX AUS got pushed online with PAX Online and cancelled until next-year, we’re currently the wild-card state lol.

Ironically at this point it seems likely that states like Queensland could be opening up internationality exclusively to New Zealand for travel, but not to Victoria or New South Wales lol.