As PAX East comes to a close, it looks as if the show’s inaugural year was a great success. According to Joystiq, 60,000 people attended the convention, more than twice what was originally expected by organizers. Not only is PAX East the first gaming convention on the east coast since in over a decade (E3 did a short stint in Atlanta in ’97 and ’98), if it continues to grow it could become the next major gaming convention, fitting squarely between GDC and E3. There is definitely room for such a convention, especially if the show remains open to the public. Since E3 became industry-only, there is a hole in the gaming convention circuit; gamers want a “Public E3″.
Because the show was such a big hit, organizers have already begun planning for the next two years and, starting with the next show, PAX East will be held in a larger venue. Show organizers announced that they have secured the Boston Convention and Exhibition center for 2011 and 2012. Though the new event space will accommodate a larger show, many have already expressed their concern over the fact that, while it’s a smaller venue, the Hynes Convention Center is in a much more accommodating area of the city (Read: More Bars).
Nitpicking aside, if you went PAX East and had fun, rest assured; the show will back next year.