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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 12:14PM ScottishViking said

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I agree that the expo floor could have featured many more MMOs, and that there could have been more MMO-related panels. But you did neglect to mention that the discussion at those panels was substantive, meaningful, and exciting. I particularly enjoyed the "Future of MMOs" panel.

In a way, the lack of MMOs (and their publishers or dev studios) may not have been PAX's fault. Speaking with a few Turbine employees about the absence of other MMOs at PAX, they suggested that other studios were reluctant to commit because of the untested nature of the event. Here's hoping that the success of PAX East will change their minds.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 12:30PM (Unverified) said

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Oh, definitely. It was certainly quality over quantity. I enjoyed the panels I attended, and even some that loosely pertained to MMOs, like the Community Manager panel. I hope that next year sees more of an MMO presence, based off of the interest shown at what was available to us this year.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2010 12:42PM Scopique said

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I see how from some perspectives (breaking news, representation, etc) it could be termed a "failure", but I was JUST over at PA.com, and everything I've read from them about PAX has been that the event is for the attendees. If the gamers had a good time, then it's a success. I know I enjoyed it.

But, seeing as how this is an MMO site, and how I'm an MMO fan, I would have LOVED to see more MMO lovin'. I suspected what ScottishViking said, that it's an untested event, and also that the size of the venue was probably limiting. Hopefully the bursting-at-the-seems attendance this year will convince other developers and publishers that PAX East isn't a shadow of the PAX Prime, and get the asses to Boston next year.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 12:53PM (Unverified) said

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It's expensive to send employees on weekend benders at every game show that pops up, there are plenty of them by the way, so I think most budget minded managers would much rather spend their "Face time money" at established venues like PAX west. Next year I would bet you will see a much more mirrored event between west and east coast versions. These events don't only give great exposure for your products to the attendee's, but more importantly the massive (heh) amount of industry news coverage they get reaches a huge audience. You can spend thousands on banner ads spanning every news/blog/webcomic you can think of, but many of the more active netizens tend to block these out like road signs to a taxi driver. Having one of your banners appear behind Morgan Webb's gorgeous face though is priceless advertisement.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 3:02PM (Unverified) said

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I haven't been too impressed with the MMO companies when it comes to these types of conventions. Companies like Blizzard and Sony have their own conventions and seem reluctant to want to be involved anywhere else. A few of the MMO's coming out soon tend to be represented, and the rest are just MIA.

I attend Gen Con every year and the amount of MMO companies present is sad. Turbine also goes to Gen Con, along with Cryptic, and Mythic the last couple of years and its been great fun talking to the people behind the games. Even CCP attended a couple of years back promoting Eve Online with representatives from Iceland, but your talking 2-5 companies that show up out of dozens and the biggest players in the MMO industry are the biggest no shows too.

Whats more amusing is looking down the hall at the giant booth promoting World of Warcraft cards and miniatures, but Blizzard cant seem to actually attend to promote the MMO game itself. Unfortunately not everyone wants to go to California for every gaming convention so PAX East is a great things for everyone on the east coast.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 4:08PM GRT said

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Weird factoid: though Aion wasn't at the show as far as I could see, there was a card with a "Join us in Aion" code slipped under hotel room doors. Not sure if it's some kind of trial or what, but talk about "testing the waters."

I'll definitely be going back next year, and will hope for more game companies, but even if they don't appear, I still had a blast meeting fellow gamers and those industry people that did see fit to attend.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 6:41PM (Unverified) said

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I had fun at PAX, but not really that much IN PAX. It was like I paid for events I couldn't attend, seminars that were too crowded to see, games too crowded to play. Parties were great, people were fun and I hung out with friends. Not sure I'd return though unless some big changes are made.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 7:36PM Graill440 said

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I only read about 6 white papers (all i could stomach) and watched a couple speech vids. Still warm and fuzzy in devland, and those rose colored glasses, wow.

The single thing i pulled from this GDC is devs still havent learned. They think they still have the creativity and technical know how to make truly great MMO's, by themselves.

History repeating itself over and ove is getting old, maybe we need to centralize these devs and make them contracturaly obligated. This may put a sense of urgency into knowing they could end up paying back wasted money and paying back defrauded customers out of their own pockets.

The incedibly sad thing is the public and the idiots in charge still give money to garbage devs and provide no consequence. Loss of a job is no consequence either, as these untalented devs will get jobs elsewhere.

Well, at least the folks that owned that building made some good rent money. Business as usual, move along, nothing to see here.

Posted: Mar 30th 2010 7:54PM (Unverified) said

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I am not in the video game/mmo industry but i very much dobut that losing a job is quite as without consequence as you say.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2010 8:59PM (Unverified) said

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I had a great time at PAX East this year, but it definitely had hints of the 'unproven event' whiffing around it's overcrowded hallways. But PAX has never really been about the companies -- it's always been about gamers, and that it had in droves. Honestly, the best times to be had are with friends (old and new) in line or in console freeplay or just hanging out on a Sumo.

That said I definitely agree that there should be more programming -- the biggest problems were that people would have to line up an hour before a panel (at minimum) that they really wanted to attend or they'd have no hope of getting in. This isn't just a PAX East problem, it's a big one at PAX Prime too. I think a couple of alternate tracks -- say one entirely for MMOs, or aspiring designers, or retro gaming, or what not -- would ease up some of the pressure on the available panels and let things mellow out a bit.

PAX in general's a very young convention and it hasn't had the 'feature creep' that a lot of the other established conventions have gotten, so I think it'll definitely grow and change with time. I had a fantastic time, though, all of the various drawbacks aside.

Did any of you hear any of the people doing the Heavy Rain call for 'Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaason'? in the hallways? It was cracking me up. If you haven't played it, there's a sequence -very- near the beginning where your kid is wandering around at a mall and you're calling his name to keep the little bugger from getting lost. Totally awesome.

Posted: Mar 31st 2010 12:31AM (Unverified) said

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"There were only two MMO-related booths in the entire expo: Turbine and APB."
...
"Fun fact: the registration and queue line-up room was actually larger than the expo floor itself. "

The organizers of the convention can hardly force MMO developers or publishers (who really control whether or not the developers come) to show up.

WRITE TO THE COMPANIES YOU WANT TO SHOW UP AND TELL THEM TO COME. Make sure you write to the publishers, especially.

If they weren't there, you can be sure it wasn't because PAX didn't want them!

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