PAX Prime 2011 Overview

Posted on 29 August 2011 by ClassicMoments


It’s a word that brings a big smile on many gamer’s faces. Usually an instant hot topic among gamers. A game convention truly for fans  and devs; a place where they can connect. And with the industry expanding and growing each year, we always expect PAX Prime to break some kind of record, or to exceed drastic measures. This year, they surely did.

ClassicMoments: When we first visited PAX a few years ago, we instantly fell in love with the atmosphere all around. Perfect amount of crowd which led to a perfect amount of attention that you would expect from game companies. Now though, it feels like another big convention. I’m not complaining here though, since we are actually going to these conventions for work. But many of our friends who attended PAX for the first time thought the place was just too crowded to enjoy the full experience. Generally though people were still excited to play many anticipated titles.

GillRider: I agree with ClassicMoments on this one. The first PAX we attended was awesome! I feel like we got a lot done, both for work, and for ourselves. But now, the lines are discouragingly long to experience many of the games. I was in line for for a demo play of X-Men Destiny, and I was waiting so long that I just had to give up. But with that said, I really do think its great that PAX doesn’t discriminate exceedingly between fans and media. For the most part, we are all equal participants. And I complain about long lines, but really, isn’t that what conventions are all about? A huge gathering of people with the same interest?

Swags and booths

ClassicMoments:  We did found some cool swags, but overall, I think the industry still suffers from the downsized economy. It was hard to spot a booth giving out stuff like nobody’s business; not even a small button. Many companies however put lots of effort on their booths to attract their fans. I just wish that they were spaced out a bit further so then people don’t accidentally punch or kick others……ever again.

GillRider: Yeah, swags have been harder and harder to find. And you definitely need to fight your way through to get any. I’ve found that more and more, companies are making you work for your swag. There were many scavenger hunt-type deals where you had certain objectives, and once they’ve been met, you can trade the score card in for a swag. Other types of challengers were beating a hired, expert player, taking surveys, etc. Fun, but time consuming.

ClassicMoments: So many interesting events. Almost too many that it wasn’t easy to map out schedules for the whole PAX experience. Well, you can’t win ‘em all, right? This year, instead of panels, I decided to take a different route and looked into a  gaming tournament room. As soon as I entered, I could feel the tension between competitors. Many if not every matches were done and over with a silent smile of satisfaction and dejection. I was expecting more of a festival competition, but nonetheless there were many interesting matches which I enjoyed.

GillRider: There was a panel that we had planned to attend, so we made our way to a theatre at a different hotel. As we got off the elevator, there were swarms of people exiting/entering and lining up. It was a bit hard to tell where to go, so I asked one of the Enforcers, about the panel. He told me to ask another Enforcer that was guiding traffic. Though he was really busy, he stopped to listen to my question, and kindly told me the panel was cancelled, but also gave me suggestions as to what other panels/events were going on at that time. I was impressed with how helpful and nice he was. Good job PAX Enforcers!

Ready for the next PAX Prime!

ClassicMoments: Though it’s still the best gaming convention for gaming fans, I don’t think PAX Prime is trying to please everyone anymore. It’s an inevitable path that every growing convention goes through, and from my personal experience, PAX Prime tries very hard to keep their high standard and is so far succeeding. But I also have to wonder if PAX Prime can keep its reputation high. Hopefully it can for the next year and forward, because the fun of being there easily outweighs little hiccups here and there. See you all next year!

GillRider: I’m personally already excited for PAX Prime next year. The panels are always great, and the booths are exciting! I’m always just thrilled with the conventions atmosphere that’s unique to PAX. Though as PAX grows, I’m wondering if the Washington State Convention Center is big enough to host it. If they do expand, I hope they keep it local, and keep up the great, hi-quality experience we’ve seen thus far!


Alltop, confirmation that we kick ass

Fun Gaming Facts

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime used to be the senior director of national marketing at Pizza Hut. While there he launched the Bigfoot Pizza and The Big New Yorker.