PAXing East Coast Style

Today I, as well as a throng of coworkers, descended upon the first incarnation of PAX East. Though there wasn’t an official 38 Studios presence (no booth or big announcements this year–sorry!), our execs were nice enough to give the team the day off to attend opening day of the festivities.

First off, it’s great to have a major fan-centric gaming event in Boston. The fact that the show sold out for all three days is a testament to how many rabid gamers we have on this side of the country. No question that a show like this was long overdue.

The organizers certainly seemed to have learned a lot from the original PAX in terms of keeping things running smoothly. Though the entrance was a massive choke point (more about this later), once inside things ran like clockwork. It was fast and easy to pick up my badge, and grabbing goodie bags and program guides was a snap. Most of the lower level is a maze-like queue that winds its way toward the second floor, but despite a crowd the line was flowing briskly.

There are some weak points I hope improve next time around:

  • Need a better facility – The Hynes Convention Center is not a great venue. The entryway was a massive bottleneck compared to more modern facilities. The cement floors and drab walls gave off a prison vibe. It just wasn’t a pleasant place (although easy access to a decent food court is a plus).
  • Industry support felt tentative – The expo floor wasn’t exactly brimming with exciting booths. Local studio Turbine had a nice area, and a few others (like Realtime Worlds, who showed off APB) did as well. But overall it felt like many big-name publishers had little more than a token presence.

Perhaps the show’s proximity to E3 precluded many companies from committing resources, or maybe they just wanted to see how the first year of the show went. Either way, I hope there is more of a big-name presence next year–and I hope it takes place in a location that better shows all that Boston has to offer.

Overall the arrival of PAX East is a huge boon to gamers and developers alike. I’m confident the show will be a huge success and will only get better in the years to come.

Published by

Moorgard

Steve Danuser, also known as Moorgard, is a a writer, editor, and game designer.

3 thoughts on “PAXing East Coast Style”

  1. Build it and they will come… and I don’t mean a booth I mean a darn game we can actually play! :p

    It would be nice if some of the shows were east coast more often since a huge gaming community exists.

  2. 60k is pretty impressive, but be careful what you wish for with more presence.

    If its a good conference, you don’t want it to wind up on a 3 year curve. eg. Next year, a few bigger names will drop in, the year after that, a few more, along with a throng of media. Wait, media’s here? We need a bigger stage and a new demo. After that, fans tend to stop coming as publishers start to focus on entertaining the media types rather than the fans..

    This happens in many industries, just replace fans with customers, and media with Consultants. When the consultants outnumber the buyers, its time to get out of the conference.

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