QuakeCon will return in-person for 2023, but with some big changes

After three years of being online-only because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bethesda Softworks has announced that QuakeCon will return to in-person action in 2023.

“QuakeCon is our favorite event of the year, and we can’t wait to finally see our incredible QuakeCon community in-person again, celebrate games, and frag all weekend with thousands of friends,” id Software boss Marty Stratton said. “For our first year back, QuakeCon 2023 is focusing on the fan favorite BYOC and the players that made QuakeCon the best gaming gathering for more than 25 years.”

BYOC is “Bring Your Own Computer,” which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Bring your own PC and hook into a massive, non-stop LAN party that runs through the entire event. The LAN is notable not just for its sheer size—we’re talking thousands of PCs at once—but also for the extravaganza of case mods (opens in new tab) on display, which never fails to impress.

In previous years, general admission to QuakeCon was free, while anyone who wanted to take part in BYOC had to pony up for a ticket. For 2023, however, Bethesda is going all-in on the LAN, and dropping the exhibit hall and general admission access: QuakeCon 2023 “will be a ticketed-only event with admittance limited to pre-registered BYOC guests,” Bethesda said.

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Like most other major gaming conventions, QuakeCon opted to go online-only for 2020-2022 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused more than 1.1 million deaths in the US alone. But with the daily death count now below 300, according to the CDC (opens in new tab), the US government recently declared that the Covid-19 “public health emergency” will be ended on May 11.

Despite the focus on the BYOC mega-LAN, there will be other things to see and do at QuakeCon 2023 including community events, tabletop games, the QuakeCon Finals Party, and the Quake World Championships. A full schedule will be announced “soon.”