INDIANAPOLIS (August 6, 2018) Gen Con, the largest and longest-running game convention in North America, has announced that its 2018 convention is the most attended ever, propelled by a record number of 4-Day badge sales, a 16% year-over-year increase in Saturday badge holders, and astounding 60% jump in year-over-year growth for both Sunday badge holders and children attending with wristbands.
“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.”
Beyond attendance records, Gen Con also set philanthropic high marks in 2018, raising more than $50,000 for its charity partners, The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund and Second Helpings, through multiple on-site events. Since moving to Indy in 2003, Gen Con has now raised more than $300,000 for its charity partners.
In a year of firsts, Gen Con launched convention-long streaming of events on Twitch, the online gaming network, netting more than 300,000 unique viewers of its programming with more than three million minutes of watched footage. The convention also successfully released a successful beta test of its on-site electronic event ticketing system, supporting nearly 10,000 transactions with the intention of expanding that service in future conventions.
Gen Con’s Block Party debuted in 2018, expanding Gen Con’s outdoor, free, unbadged experience spanning Georgia Street, on to South Street, and with placements around the Indianapolis downtown. The 2018 Block Party included 65+ food trucks, two Sun King Beer Gardens, Hot Box Pizza stands, an activation from the Indianapolis Public Library, and a free concert with the bands Local H and Brother O’ Brother.
This year’s convention featured more than 520 game companies, more than 600 new games, 17,000 ticketed events, and a significant increase in programming in Lucas Oil Stadium. The convention plans to continue its development of Lucas Oil Stadium as a new hub of convention growth.
Gen Con will return to Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019.
Quotes about Gen Con 2018
“When Gen Con comes to Indianapolis, everyone leaves a winner,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “This year, a record-setting number of attendees enjoyed a quality convention experience, as well as our city’s world-class restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and amenities — resulting in a local economic impact of more than $70 million. Since 2003, the Indianapolis community has embraced this convention and we are excited to continue to break records and find new and better ways to host the Best Four Days in Gaming.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
About Gen Con LLC
Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America, Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Founded in 1968 and acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle and takes place each August in Indianapolis.