According to Penny Arcade's business head, Robert Khoo, around 67,600 gamers flooded the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA for three days of gaming and all around fun at the Penny Arcade Expo this year, which took place September 3-5, 2010 [full disclosure: at least four of these attendees work for this website]. The event saw an increase of nearly 7,000 attendees and probably could have drawn an even larger crowd if the venue space could handle it.With the popularity of PAX Prime increasing on a year-to-year basis, is it possible that the event could utilize other locations in order to accommodate more people? Khoo offered his thoughts on the issue:
We're always looking to see what can work, but I personally feel we're closing in on our limit to the show in regard to physical space. There are a few more venues we're looking at, but at the end of the day we just want to improve the PAX experience in any way we can. If it helps, we'll consider it. If it hurts, we won't.
This year, PAX was chock full of announcements, including the return of the one-time vaporware title, Duke Nukem Forever. There were also plenty of games to see at PAX this year, like a demo of Dragon Age 2, Epic Mickey, Portal 2 (and its co-op play), and many more. Let's not forget, PAX is also about board games as well, including digital board games.
With the huge presence of fans, PAX presents developers and publishers with a great opportunity to show off their games directly to hardcore gaming fans without a press filter. Plus, the event provides studios with another chance outside of E3 to show content for their upcoming titles. Mike Krahulik (aka Gabe) and Jerry Holkins (aka Tycho) believe that their PAX events may be assisting the industry in moving away from the traditional holiday-centric release schedule.
Last year saw the beginnings of a second PAX event, PAX East (located in Boston, MA), allowing both coasts to get in on the action. Could an international PAX not be far behind? Krahulik and Holkins mentioned there is a possibility of creating a third PAX incarnation that would take place in a location the two would like to visit. Japan perhaps?
Couldn't make this year's event? Intrigued by three days of non-stop gaming? If so, your next opportunity will be March 11-13, 2011, when PAX East is tentatively slated to take place. Just be sure to buy your tickets early, as these events do sell out.