67,600 pack into PAX Prime, third expo rumored
Seattle gaming-for-gamers expo reaches record numbers yet again; speculation about international Penny Arcade event surfaces.
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As has been the case since its founding, the Penny Arcade Expo has posted larger attendance figures with each subsequent year. According to PC gaming site the Big Download, a record 67,600 people piled into the Washington State Convention Center for PAX Prime, which ran September 3-5. That's a significant jump from the 60,750 people who showed for PAX 2009.
The renaming of the main event was due to the premiere of an East Coast spin-off, PAX East, which itself drew nearly 53,000 attendees when it ran March 26-28. The event was such a hit that the organizer of both events, Reed Exhibitions, has signed a contract to hold PAX East at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center through 2013.
From its humble beginnings in 2004, when just 3,300 fans of the game-focused Web comic Penny Arcade turned up, PAX has turned into a major fixture of the yearly game-expo circuit. One reason is that unlike other US gaming expos, such as the Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo, it is open to the public. As a result, the size of the event is limited only by the venue itself, with Penny Arcade business manager Robert Khoo telling the Big Download that this year's event was almost too large.
The pair of comic artists is also pondering a third expo, according to game-industry site Gamasutra. In a Q&A session on the final day of PAX 2010, Penny Arcade co-authors Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins reportedly hinted that they and Reed Exhibitions were considering a third PAX. The locale would likely be an international city that has yet to be determined.
For a full rundown of this year's event, visit GameSpot's complete coverage of PAX 2010.
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