Organizers for PAX East have inked a deal with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority to keep the annual game convention in Boston through 2023, and to donate $325,000 to the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute.
The Penny Arcade Expo spin-off event is one of the largest game conventions in the East Coast, and has been held in Boston since its inception two years ago -- losing the show to another city would have taken away PAX East's significant contributions to the local economy.
MCCA says it generated over $520 million for hotels and other businesses in Boston from the 237 events it hosted in 2011. PAX East was one of those conferences, and it attracted nearly 70,000 attendees over three days last year (up from 52,000 in the previous year).
The contract to keep PAX East in Boston was originally set to expire after this April's show, where organizers (Reed Exhibitions and Penny Arcade Expo) expect to bring in 75,000 attendees. Over the next 10 years, they predict that attendance will rise to 100,000.
As part of the 13-year agreement, PAX East's organizers will make an annual $25,000 contribution to Becker College's Massachusetts Digital Games Institute to strengthen ties between local academia and the gaming industry, and grow the industry's presence in the area.
Penny Arcade Expo's original West Coast conference, PAX Prime, has been held near or in Seattle every year since its inaugural show in 2004. PAX Prime 2011 brought in more than 70,000 attendees.