I’m sitting here about 2/3 of the way through day 2 of PAX and only now have had time to work on the day 1 coverage of the convention for Game Usagi… that’s how busy and chock-full this show is. But let’s maybe back up for a moment and explain what PAX or Penny Arcade Expo is all about: a culmination of the success andculture of one of the most popular web comics around (Penny Arcade: www.penny-arcade.com). PAX has grown to a powerhouse in videogame conventions. The website and its resulting “expo” is the brainchild of Mike Krahulik and Jerry Hulkins who have created animated alter egos by the name of Gabe and Tycho. Born from humble beginnings, the site grew in popularity with its witty commentary on video game and table top gaming culture. PAX in its current iteration hosts the world’s biggest video game companies and their new content, along with indy game developers and also features a healthy dose of table top gaming-related exhibits.
This year is the sixth iteration of PAX, which is spread over a 3-day weekend and has been growing in size each year. PAX 09 is the first time where the show was sold out before tickets went on sale at the door. On August 21, two weeks before the start of the convention, all 3-day passes were sold out. On August 31 all single-day passes were sold out as well, drawing the largest crowd in PAX history with 75,000 PAX passes sold.
Highlights of this year’s show are:
- Live in-game demos of Star Wars the Old Republic, Splinter Cell Conviction and Assassins Creed 2.
- A keynote by Ron Gilbert.
- A world record for the most Nintendo DS’ in one place and
- Playable builds of almost all major game releases for the end of this year andbeyond.
Please note that we will add many images and videos once we get back to the office, however to keep information on PAX as current as possible, we’ll update you as the show progresses. For day 1 we had some hands-on time with a number of upcoming high profile releases: