As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the globe, more annual events are continuing to confirm their return for an online-only event in 2021 much like last year.

Event organizers had previously never been faced with the issue of being unable to gather large crowds, posing major issues when the pandemic rolled around.

Many studios — such as Marvel — were forced to opt-out of events altogether last year due to a lack of interest in making major announcements in an online format.

This year seems poised to be very similar as the E3 gaming event will reportedly move its conferences and reveals to an online-only event, a move many other major events seem ready to follow...

SDCC STAYS ONLINE FOR 2021

Following several confirmations from other major events, San Diego Comic-Con confirmed on Twitter the event will remain online this year as it was in 2020. The annual Comic-Con will run as planned from July 23-25 with online panels and more.

The official press release reads:

STATEMENT REGARDING COMIC-CON 2021

As you may be aware, due to concern for public health and safety, San Diego Comic Convention had to cancel both of its in-person events in 2020 and recently announced that our spring 2021 show, WonderCon in Anaheim, will also be canceled. In its place, WonderCon@Home will once again be held as a free online event on March 26 and 27, 2021.

It is the policy of the organization to continue to closely monitor information from local and national healthcare officials as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. Never could we have imagined what the world experienced in 2020 and continues to experience today. While we are buoyed by the rollout of the vaccine and the growing number of individuals being inoculated, it appears that July will still be too early to safely hold an in-person event of the magnitude of Comic-Con. For this reason, we have made the challenging decision to postpone Comic-Con 2021 as an in-person gathering until our 2022 dates, and once again hold this year's celebration as the free online Comic-Con@Home. Unfortunately, the challenges of this past year and the multiple postponements of our two largest events have left us with limited financial resources, so this year the online experience will be reduced to a three-day event, spanning July 23-25, 2021.

While we lament the postponement of the in-person Comic-Con, our commitment to this community of fans and our celebration of comics and the related popular arts endures as an important part of who we are. As the timing and scope of our larger event factored greatly into our decision to postpone, we believe that launching a smaller in-person event at a later time may be a safe alternative. For this reason, we are happy to announce that San Diego Comic Convention is planning to present a three-day in-person convention in San Diego in November. At this time, we are still working on specific details as to attendance capacity, badge cost, and related information, and those details will be forthcoming. Please continue to visit our website, comic-con.org , for official updated information as it becomes available.

At this time, individuals who have purchased badges that were rolled over to the 2021 show will have those badges automatically transferred to the 2022 event unless a refund is requested. To submit a badge refund request, visit www.comic-con.org/cc/comic-con- cancellation refund-policy. All confirmed exhibitors with a rollover payment from Comic-Con 2020 will receive a separate email with instructions and deadlines for continuing to forward your payment on to Comic-Con 2022, or for requesting a refund. In addition, we are currently working on an option for those wishing to transfer their badge or exhibitor deposits/payments as full or partial payment towards our 2021 November event. Information will be forthcoming, so please watch your email inbox and the Comic-Con website for further details,

The past several months have taken a great toll on both families and friends, and we hope this effort is a small move toward a return to gathering as a community to not only celebrate popular art, but also friendship, education, and the enduring spirit of the fandom that is so much a part of Comic-Con. We thank you all for your continued and unwavering support during these most challenging times. We look forward to seeing you in November!

--San Diego Comic Convention

A PREDICTABLE MOVE FOR SDCC

As high COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to spread across the world — with an ongoing vaccine rollout happening at the same time — it's no surprise that fans wouldn't be jumping back into an in-person event this summer.

Much like last year, this will likely prompt many major studios to opt-out of participating in the event, however, it didn't seem as if many major announcements were slated for 2021 anyway. DC already has a huge line-up of films announced for the coming years and Disney revealed the future of both the MCU and Star Wars during Disney Investor Day this past December.

If all goes well, fans can look forward to hopefully returning to an in-person SDCC in 2022 — with 2021 ticket holders having their passes transferred. In the meantime, most major pop culture franchises already have packed slates set for the coming years for fans to look forward to as the world starts to reopen.

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