The 2008 Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) doesn't even kick off for a few more weeks, and it already qualifies as the biggest show yet. Penny Arcade president of operations and business development Robert Khoo confirmed to GameSpot that the fifth annual open-to-the-public gaming convention has already had more preregistration ticket sales than the total attendance of the 2007 show.
Last year, more than 39,000 gamers flocked to the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle for a three-day celebration of all things gaming, complete with industry panels, tournaments, concerts, and a show floor with playable demos of upcoming games. This year's event will boast double the exhibition hall space to accommodate a larger crowd.
At this rate, PAX could produce a show to rival that of the biggest Electronic Entertainment Expos. Before the annual event was dramatically downsized, E3 2006 packed more than 60,000 into the Los Angeles Convention Center. This year's E3 Media & Business Summit attracted just over 4,000 invited attendees; neither show was open to the general public.
Khoo also filled in a few details about the East Coast PAX announced last week. The two shows will be staggered, with "PAX Prime" continuing in the fall, and PAX EC taking place in the spring. There's no set location for the show yet, but organizers have narrowed it down to about four locations. The inaugural PAX EC had originally been planned to take place this year, but Khoo said it was logistically impossible to organize it while still managing the growth of the main show.
PAX 2008 is set for August 29-31. For more on the show, check out the official Web site.