PAX Prime 2011: Approximately 70,000 People are Suffering from PAX Withdrawal
E3 can go ahead and keep its share of the limelight in the media with all of its flashy announcements, big conference surprises, and industry shockers. What it won’t have is the sheer multitude of attendees that flock to Seattle to attend the PAX three-day geek weekend.
If you really want the cold hard numbers (and facts), E3 brought in about 45,000 people this past June. Care to guess how much PAX roped in? The numbers are staggering: about 70,000 people came to Seattle to experience everything video games in all its finery. Let’s put it this way — in terms of the biggest gaming events held in the United States, the two Penny Arcade Expos are easily the biggest in terms of attendance. That tops E3, and even GDC.
The head of the expo’s business operations Robert Khoo said in an interview with Neowin that with the 70,000 attendees, this made the past weekend’s expo the biggest and best PAX ever held. How’s that for bragging rights?
First started in 2004, PAX was a tiny little convention that was held in Bellevue, Washington, also known as “that yuppie town about 15 miles east of Seattle across a big damn lake.” With a special focus on fans and how aspiring video gamers could cross over into the industry, it’s no wonder that this small convention would grow to be so huge. The attendance was a meager 3,000 some people its inaugural year, devoted fans of the web comic. Since then, it has ballooned into the largest gaming event in the States. In 2007, the site was changed from Bellevue to Seattle. Not only did fan attendance grow in size, but attendance by major publishers and developers grew as well.
Last year marked the first time a PAX East event was made, bringing PAX to the East Coast in Boston, MA. With 69,500 attendees clocked at the inaugural run, you can be sure PAX East will be there to stay. Next year’s dates have already been announced too: April 6th to April 8th.
How about this for some fancy news? A Joystiq interview with Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik revealed that the dynamic duo is thinking of bringing PAX to a third city. Where it’s going to be, is unknown, but the pair have indicated that they want it to be somewhere overseas, a place where they’ve never been before.
If you’re one of the many 70,000 attendees to this year’s PAX, then there’s no doubt you’re suffering from withdrawal. A lot of us are already looking forwards to next year.
Via VG 24/7.