The 2008 Penny Arcade Expo has broken all its own previous records with an estimated 58,500 attendees. This year, PAX's fifth, saw over 21,000 more visitors than the previous year and exceeded estimate of between 45,000 and 50,000 attendees.
The three-day event took place over the recent weekend in Seattle, and saw visitor figures comparable to the pre-2007 E3 expo in Los Angeles - although the old style E3 event was officially open only to industry employees and journalists.
The 2009 expo is expected to take place at the same time next year, with a PAX East Coast event due to debut in Boston in late March of 2010.
"Overall it was a huge success," says Penny Arcade's Robert Khoo, speaking to website Big Download
. "The challenge each and every year is to keep the community and cultural feel of the show intact, and I really think we pulled it off."
"We finally stopped doubling our attendance, but Lord, I'm not sure if we could have handled any more people if they showed up. Key learnings for next year? Better line management and more space!"
"One particular thing I noticed was that more and more exhibitors are bringing their dev and product manager staff,” adds sales manager Mike Fehlauer.
"We've got an option on the order form for regular 3-day attendee badges, and a bunch just went ahead and sent entire teams to the show - or, in the case of some Seattle devs, the entire company. And besides expressions of love for the Enforcers [the PAX volunteers], the most often-heard comment I heard from exhibitors was that they had a blast just meeting and talking to players."