Arts & Culture News

QuakeCon Was Once a 50-Person Gaming Convention at La Quinta. Now It's At Gaylord Texan.

Fans flood the floors of the annual PC gaming convention QuakeCon.
Fans flood the floors of the annual PC gaming convention QuakeCon. Ed Steele
The very first QuakeCon, the annual gaming convention held by gaming software giant ZeniMax Media that oversees game developers such as id Software of Dallas, was held in a La Quinta Inn in Garland with an attendance of just 50 die-hard fans. These days, QuakeCon needs a much more substantial space to accommodate its crowds and all the PC equipment they lug along with them.

ZeniMax announced on the official QuakeCon website that they are moving their popular gaming convention to the massive Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine for the 22nd edition of QuakeCon scheduled Aug. 24-27.

QuakeCon not only offers fans a place to play their favorite LAN (local area network) games in one space for hours on end, but the con has also offered fans some of their first looks at anticipated titles such as the first gameplay trailer for Prey in 2016 and the first public demo of the newest Doom reboot back in 2014.

The news about the change of location confirms rumors posted on places such as Reddit that ZeniMax was planning to move the convention from their usual venue, the Hilton Anatole hotel. The Hilton hosted QuakeCon for the last seven years and during a three-year stint from 2006-2008. The Gaylord Texan previously hosted QuakeCon in 2004, 2005 and 2009.

The post announcing the venue change did not explain why they decided to move the location of the con to the Grapevine resort and convention center except that they wanted to preserve the convention's late August dates.
ZeniMax also explained that the news may not be the best choice for fans but noted that they felt these were the best options available to the con organizers under these circumstances.

"The change of venue presents some challenges for us in 2017," the post reads. "Due to QuakeCon's unique requirements and previously contracted events, the August 24-27 dates this year are our best option available. We can also report that QuakeCon 2017 will have a slightly reduced capacity for the BYOC [Bring Your Own Computer] space. On both matters, we've received plenty of feedback from our senior volunteer staff — and we agree — that this news is not ideal."

The post also says the con will offer an expanded VIP experience for guests who purchase "UAC Executive VIP Experience" passes, which will now include access to a private executive lounge area, the ability to upgrade a fellow QuakeCon attendee's registration, use of an express lane, limited access events and early registration for 2018's QuakeCon. These and other options for the 22nd annual QuakeCon convention will go on sale Thursday, March 30, at
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.