South Africa’s largest annual video gaming, tech and geek culture expo has been cancelled for 2020. The rAge Expo has been ongoing without fail for nearly two decades.
For the first time in 18 years, the Johannesburg-based event won’t be going forward due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The 2020 expo was shaping up to be yet another awesome event, and the team is deeply saddened that rAge won’t be coming to life in the real world this year. This isn’t a decision that was taken lightly. It was the product of lengthy internal discussions as well as valued input from other stakeholders, and the team all agreed that the expo would serve everyone better if it was cancelled for now,” reads a statement from the expo’s official website.
“The coronavirus pandemic has touched every corner of the globe, and rAge’s primary responsibility is making sure that fans, exhibitors, partners and staff stay safe. At this stage, there is also no indication as to when lockdown restrictions may be lifted, or when it will be safe to be around crowds of people,” the statement continues.
Home to South Africa’s largest yearly bring your own computer (BYOC) LAN event, the expo has been a cornerstone of the country’s gaming culture since its inception. The community will surely miss the event this year with 2020 currently cementing itself as the most important year in gaming of the last decade with the releases of both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5.
Some good news for gamers is that there are plans to possibly bring the event online, says rAge Founder and Project Manager, Michael James.
“We’re a resilient bunch. So, we’re working on an online version of rAge, in the spirit of the technology and inventiveness that drives the expo. rAge has always been much bigger than the building that contains it. So, bringing South Africa’s fabled gaming and pop culture icon to the online world makes sense,” James says.
“This isn’t a simple task and we’re doing what we can to ensure it feels and looks as good as possible, and without too many bugs, glitches or lag.”
He says that dates and details will be announced once all of the “important bits” have been ironed out, but should be expected soon.
“We’ve always been about growing the local gaming industry and making rAge a place of imagination, excitement and fun. But, for now, we’re just going to be doing it differently.”
This news follows the cancellation of Comic Con Africa, another pop-culture and gaming expo that will be moving online due to the coronavirus pandemic.