58,500 flock to PAX 2008

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

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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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