Gen Con’s Year of Firsts

This year’s Gen Con (the biggest tabletop gaming convention in North America) saw some big increases in attendance with record numbers of fans buying 4-Day badges.

“By any metric, Gen Con 2018 was an enormous success,” said David Hoppe, Gen Con President. “The combination of a record number of veteran gamers arriving from around the world with an amazing surge in first-year attendees illustrates the bright future of gaming. We were also delighted to welcome many game industry partners back to the convention, including Blizzard, Pokémon, and Magic: The Gathering, which celebrated its 25th birthday at Gen Con. We’re proud that while substantially more than 60,000 unique attendees were on-site over four days, the feedback from customers, sponsors, and exhibitors was that we provided a smoothly-run show and top-notch customer experience.”

“This year’s Gen Con was another epic experience for a record number of attendees and exhibitors, as well as for the city of Indianapolis,” said Leonard Hoops, president and CEO, Visit Indy. “We are proud to have hosted this incredible event for the past 16 years, and we look forward to hosting it more many years to come.”

With so many gamers in attendance, The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund and Second Helpings (Gen Con’s charity partners) raised over $50,000. This brings the amount of money raised by the convention for charity over $300,000! That’s a lot of buckaroos for people in need!

The convention also stepped into the digital realm with hosted streaming of events on Twitch and a successful beta test of its on-site electronic event ticketing system, making services faster and easier for everyone. Gen Con is planning to expand that services in future conventions.

Lastly, but most deliciously, Gen Con debuted the new Block Party, a free outdoor space that included over 65 food trucks and performances by bands like Local H and Brother O’ Brother.

“Hot Box Pizza was honored to be the official pizza of Gen Con,” said Gabe Connell, Owner of Hot Box Pizza. “The engagement with tens of thousands of Gen Con attendees is exhilarating! We truly value our partnership with a first-rate organization and phenomenal group of visitors to our great city of Indianapolis.”

With more than 520 game companies, 600 new games, 17,000 ticketed events, and a ton of new programs at the Lucas Oil Stadium, Gen Con was a rousing success this year.

“Gen Con lived up to its reputation as the Best Four Days in Gaming!” said Scott Gaeta, President, Renegade Game Studios. “Once again, it exceeded our expectations and we can’t wait to return next year!”

Gen Con will return to Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019. What are you looking forward to for next Gen Con? What do you wish they would add to the convention? Let us know in the comments below!

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