58,500 flock to PAX 2008

Attendance record smashed at webcomic creators' open-to-the public event in Seattle.

It may have started as a niche gaming event, but the Penny Arcade Expo has quickly ascended to worldwide prominence. In no small part, that fact is due to major publisher support from the likes of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard. The other half of that equation is thanks to show organizers Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins--creators of the influential Penny Arcade webcomic--who from the onset established the event as open to the public.

With this year's show wrapping up on Sunday, PAX organizers announced today that more than 58,500 attendees flocked to the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle. As event organizers predicted after robust preregistration ticket sales, this year's turnout smashed last year's record of 39,000 attendees.

PAX 2008 was anchored by a keynote address from BioShock creator and 2K Boston head Ken Levine. The event also offered a number of panels helmed by industry veterans, covering such topics as the rise of democratized game design, the pitfalls of player feedback, Ryan Payton post-Metal Gear Solid, and women in the game industry.

GameSpot also caught up with Krahulik and Holkins, who spoke at length on the growing popularity of the show, the second episode of the duo's adventure game Penny Arcade Adventures, and PAX East Coast, which will set up shop in Boston beginning in 2010.

For more of GameSpot's coverage from the event, check out the PAX 2008 landing page.

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Discussion

24 comments
division_9
division_9

60,000 no life nerds at one conventon?!?!?!?!!?, Cool.

ashuncc2
ashuncc2

I enjoyed it. I would recommend that they allow Media at least a couple of days for their time on the floor. The show is supposed to be for gamers, but there were so many Media badges jumping lines. It made it tough to get to see everything we wanted to see.

AnthonyZ
AnthonyZ

This years PAX was outstanding. The best thing about PAX is that two gamers basically run the thing - let's hope it stays that way, as once corporate money starts to get involved it will start sucking.

_JPH_
_JPH_

I was there. It was awesome. Left 4 dead is the best game I have played. And the most impressive engine was the Far Cry engine definitely.

xophaser
xophaser

This was in my backyard and I didn't go. My buddy played or saw Starcraft 2 and said it was a complete game. Well, I was in LA and didn't go to E3, even though I said I would. I will next year.

RobertSilcox
RobertSilcox

pax is got to be one of the best events i have been here in seattle it was great to get to meet alot of people from all around the world that came to this even this year. i have been going to this even from day one when it started but the only down fall is the fact that there was sooooooooo many people that lines to get to play and see this was really bad but getting to see so many things and get to talk to the people who are making our games and see how much the love showing the fans this type of thing was just great. All i have to say is E3 what........ lol also thank you to the fall out guys for showing off such a great demo at the show i just can't wait to get my copy of fall out and thank you for the signed poster and puppit

Oloryn
Oloryn

After years of not being able to attend E3, by the time I could, they downgraded it to what we have now, but fortunately I was able to attend PAX this year, and its great to see some developers and organizations give a show back to the people that make them their money, the gamers, and with the expansion to the East coast, it'll be awesome to know that even more gamers will have a chance to take part. Good news and good times all around!

lamprey263
lamprey263

I've had to miss the last two PAX events because of work, and I live right near the convention center :( but maybe next year, I keep telling myself

I1yodsyo1I
I1yodsyo1I

PAX is going to get bigger and bigger; lets see how many people attend PAX in 2010! (when it expands to Boston)

okassar
okassar

Oh ma Gawd,that is such a major increase in attendance over last year,PAX rivaled E3 last year,and does it even more this year.No matter how good PAX is,and even if it does eventually surpass E3,you gotta' give E3 some respect,you can't dispel it now.MS's show @ E3 made the whole event worth it :)I hope next year,just like PAX,E3 will improve itself, and,hopefully,Nintendo and Sony put up as good shows as MS put up this year.

mixelplixed
mixelplixed

I only went for a single day but wish I went for all three, especially considering the demo lines in the exhibition area. It was a lot of fun nonetheless.

iLoveGrapedrank
iLoveGrapedrank

pax is the next e3, only if big companies understood that!

PolskaKing
PolskaKing

Mmm pretty good I would like to go to a trade show one day. @tiggerboy: Thats sweet man and just try man just try being #1

Holdwick
Holdwick

I was there and it was awesome!!! I really enjoyed the event and would recommend it to any video game enthusiast! :)

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

With E3 dieing it is good to see another avenue to flock to.

tiggerboy
tiggerboy

I was number 37,213 of 58,500 but next year I will be #1! It was awesome!!!!!

Kh1ndjal
Kh1ndjal

that's almost a 50% increase in attendance

football_legend
football_legend

The whole Expo is so awesome! This is probably the only event in the US where people can get to try games before they are released. Count me in for the PAX 09 :)

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

Good to here. I'm planning to go next year, just because i want to play some awesome games before they come out. Plus it'd be cool to see what 60000+ nerds look like inside one convention hall. Never went to any trade show before.

Bytor60150
Bytor60150

I really wish I could of gone to PAX. I went to E3 2000 and it was killer, but very commercialized-obviously. PAX just looks like a lot more fun.

slamdunk787
slamdunk787

Wow, that is a significant number. It's amazing how much more they had this year than the last one.

aBathingApe_
aBathingApe_

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