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Pandemic, Catan and Pathfinder RPG publishers pull out of physical Gen Con return

Asmodee and Paizo to focus on digital offering Gen Con Online.

The publishers behind major board games including Pandemic, Catan, Arkham Horror and Ticket to Ride, as well as fantasy tabletop RPG Pathfinder, have announced that they will not appear in person at this year’s tabletop convention Gen Con.

Asmodee, the large board game conglomerate that owns studios including Fantasy Flight Games, Catan Studio, Days of Wonder, Z-Man Games and Space Cowboys - responsible for series including Arkham Horror Files, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Catan, Unlock!, TIME Stories, Star Wars: X-Wing, Descent and dozens more - announced on Twitter that it had “decided to not physically participate in Gen Con 2021”.

“Instead we’ll be focusing our support on Gen Con Online to bring you exciting news + great play together while keeping staff, partners and customers safe,” the company added.

The announcement follows a similar move by roleplaying publisher Paizo, best known for fantasy RPG Pathfinder, to withdraw from an in-person appearance and focus on its digital presence as part of Gen Con Online. Last week, the company said it plans to host “hundreds of Pathfinder and Starfinder games suitable for all players on a variety of virtual tabletop platforms”, as well as “several special game streams and Paizo-focused seminars”.

Gen Con previously pushed back the return of its physical convention - which didn’t take place last year as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic - from its usual summer slot to the autumn.

The September 16th to 19th show will now run as a hybrid event, with a fully digital offering in the form of the second Gen Con Online joining a reduced-capacity show floor in Indianapolis and a new Pop Up Gen Con initiative bringing game demos to local game stores.

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