The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown procedures impacted multiple facets of the gaming industry, from postponed game launch to canceled conferences to a chronic lack of next-generation consoles even six months after their debut. QuakeCon 2020, an annual conference run by ZeniMax via Bethesda to support the franchises of developer id Software and other ZeniMax-owned studios, was one of the affected events.
The 25th annual QuakeCon convention was initially scheduled for August 2020 in Dallas, Texas. It was fully scrapped in March, with a statement that the organizers would search for other ways to honor QuakeCon’s spirit in August. This led to QuakeCon at Home in 2020, a multi-day web showcase that kicked off with a video of Bethesda Senior Vice President Pete Hines sipping coffee in his backyard.
Despite the promising development of COVID-19 vaccinations this year, the condition remains too precarious for several businesses to risk resuming in-person activities. Bethesda also revealed that QuakeCon 2021 will be a digital-only festival, running from August 19 to August 21. This reflects Bethesda’s continuing respect for the welfare of workers, volunteers, and the environment. In June, more information will be announced, including the streaming lineup, charitable activities, and giveaways.
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed an executive order on March 2, 2021, significantly easing regulations in the state and repealing the requirement for wearing face masks, though coverings are still required in certain workplaces and public areas. This could understand why, after the loosening of the rules, Bethesda decided to skip the live convention entirely.
We can’t wait to get back to Dallas with our QuakeCon family, but for the continued safety of our staff, the volunteers, and the community, this year’s QuakeCon will once again be a digital-only event. We’ll have all the Peace, Love, and Rockets – remotely – August 19-21. pic.twitter.com/8EaM7EY5Sv
— QuakeCon (@QuakeCon) May 11, 2021
Bethesda stated in its announcement that QuakeCon 2021 will still have “all the Peace, Love, and Rockets,” alluding to the convention’s reputation as the “Woodstock of gaming,” where thousands of gamers from all over the world come together to share their love of Quake and the creations of the several other studios under the Bethesda, and now Micros, umbrella.
The conference features gaming competitions in games like Quake 2, DOOM 1 and 2, Elder Scrolls Online, and the post-apocalyptic multiplayer RPG Fallout 76, featuring 1v1 and 2v2 duels as well as deathmatches. QuakeCon also allows attendees to donate to several causes, with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Direct Relief, The Trevor Project, and UNICEF receiving over $30,000 in the 2020 gathering. Bethesda gave away Quake 2 and 3 for 72 hours with the Bethesda Launcher as a thank you.