The Game Manufacturers Association has postponed Origins Game Fair, originally scheduled for June 17-21, to October 7-11 in Columbus, Ohio due to the coronavirus pandemic, and scheduled an online event on the original dates. The live event will be the 46th annual Origins, now probably the second or third largest tabletop game event in the U.S. (PAX Unplugged does not release attendance figures).  The new dates overlap with New York Comic Con, a conflict for some exhibitors, but convention centers are booked years in advance, so there were likely not a lot of options this fall at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

GAMA had originally planned to defer a decision on holding the show until May 1 (see “Origins Decision Deferred”), although since then at least one major publisher supporter had announced that it would not participate (see “WizKids Cancels Consumer and Trade Appearances for Q2 and Q3”).

The organization announced that it will hold an online gaming convention, Origins Online 2020, on the original dates, June 19-21.  Plans include an Exhibit Hall where attendees can demo and buy games and merchandise; streaming workshops and educational seminars with guest authors, artists and game designers; and hundreds of games online in which attendees can participate.

GAMA Executive Director John Stacy rallied the games business and community in his statement accompanying the announcement.  “We are all in this together,” he said.  “The postponement of the in-person event and introduction of Origins Online is an opportunity for the hobby games industry and broader gaming community to get excited together and come back stronger on the other side of this pandemic.”