Pax Prime, not in Seattle (2015?)

124

Posts

  • PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    PAX East and a third one does help because it will help people like me who want to experience PAX at least once a year. Prime is very hard to get into and I just got lucky for 13. 14 might not be that way. East sellout is going to be bad this year. It just isn't as bad as Prime because it is younger. Now that more people know about it I suspect this year to be equivalent to 2012's Prime. I bet many of the people that couldn't go to Prime 13 are eyeing 14 East heavily. That is a healthy thing.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    We'll see how fast East sells out. Last year was like 50 days, so I doubt we'll see a one-day (or so) sellout like Prime 12. I'm guessing more like a two-week sellout (with "sellout" meaning at least one day sold out).

    We'll know soon enough.

  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    Robert Khoo said they had roughly 170,000 people trying to get tickets. Roughly 120,000 badges sold, if I remember that right.
    mcdermott wrote: »
    It's funny you mention E3, given that PAX in its present form was in some ways a response to those issues with E3.

    PAX can remain PAX with more attendees...to a point. I'll ask, though, just to establish if we can discuss this from a common premise...do you accept that there is a cutoff at which a larger convention is no longer PAX as we know it? When it's no longer "home?"

    If 2,000,000 badges were sold to Prime, would it still be "home?"

    Those are not rhetorical, I'd like to know your answer.

    I'm sure that when the initial PAX outgrew that facility and moved, there were people saying it wouldn't be the same.
    digitard wrote: »
    #1. Let's look at the SDCC as a prime example. It's BEYOND enormous now, but when I first went back in 2007 it was a bit smaller, and while extremely packed it was a fun experience. Fast forward to massive growth and 6yrs later, and I've had numerous people tell me that it's just TOO big and crowded now. They're doing nothing but being herded around due to the flow of people and size, and sitting ALL day (and night) for the bigger items because even holding huge amounts of people in the bigger panel rooms the line is full many hours before the big events.

    SDCC was commercial. Always was. The premise of the show was to shift merch. Whether that was comic books, or nowadays movies, SDCC had one prime goal. Sell stuff.

    E3 was exactly the same. In fact, it was even more so because it started as a trade show and someone said "Why don't we sell tickets to the public?" A lot of conventions went the same way. They used to be closed door, invite only, trade conventions. But they realised it was a lot more sustainable to have plenty of people through the door, so they dropped the restrictions.

    PAX is different because it was designed for the general populace from the start. And the queues at the Expo hall shouldn't dictate the entirety of PAX. Lots of things ran out of room there. BYOC sold out. That means if it was in a bigger place, more people could BTOC. Panels were full. Now, the ones in the Paramount are stuck unless they find a bigger venue. But there were plenty of panels that could have expanded if extra space was available. Panel submissions themselves were filled quickly because there were only so many panel venues. Extra space would allow more of them.
    digitard wrote: »
    This goes into #2... the burdon of fixing the "longer lines" falls onto the exhibitors, and many can't simply justify the costs it would take to do that. To fix longer lines exhibitors would need bigger booths, and in turn they'd have to bring in more demo stations, etc. This falls onto them. None of their stuff is paid for by the PAX facility/event. They would have to pay for bigger booths (large cost) and more stations/booth items (larger cost) and then the staff to maintain that larger area. You've seen how much space the big companies take already, and they're already rocking huge lines. The amount of space, work and equipment needed to efficiently make a dent in the line time would be much MUCH higher and if you've ever seen reports online of how much it costs for an average exhibitor to have a decent booth you'd understand that a lot of companies wouldn't be able to shell out the cash needed. Remember the event to them is a way to show off their new products, drum up interest, and to basically give the community some looks at things. It does generally help their visibility to their target audience, but there's a point where they're going to have diminishing returns on money invested to show off their product and money that comes in from buyers who are introduced at these events or learn about it because of the event.

    I'm curious as to which exhibitors had two hour lines. Because I didn't queue for anything more than 20 minutes. Even the CAH booth (which ran out of BBB far too damn quickly) was only 15 minutes. I queued there from when the expo opened, and still got into a downstairs seat at the Paramount for a 10:30 panel.

    But, even if there is a two hour line, does the fix need to be to shorten it? After all, you can always walk away and come back when it's shorter. What if instead, the wait in line was simply more pleasant? People had a bit more room so they weren't bunched up together? A bit more space doesn't automatically mean they need to buy booth space. It can simply be that queues have breathing room and foot traffic flows a bit freer.

    And if there are more exhibitors, more things to see means fewer people queuing for the same thing at once, right?

    Do the big names warrant these long queues? Because someone willing to wait two hours has already made their mind up, haven't they? Either you know it's worth the wait, in which case you are queuing just to experience a game you know you are already going to buy, or you are so worried that it will suck you absolutely need to know before release. Other than that, you are surely better off leaving the queue to find something else to look at.

    Complaining that a two hour queue will turn into a three or four hour queue doesn't make sense to me. You are willing to wait two hours to see this 5/10/15 minute demo. But three is abhorrent? Saying that PAX shouldn't get bigger so you save 33% potential queuing time on the Big Name Game smacks of selfishness.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    Robert Khoo said they had roughly 170,000 people trying to get tickets. Roughly 120,000 badges sold, if I remember that right.

    I'm curious about the math on this. I'm assuming that 120,000 badges sold is badge-days, so is the 170,000 "people" number in attendee-days, or is it discrete humans? Because 120,000 badge-days is only 30,000 attendees per day (give or take, with some 4-day badges thrown in), right?

    So were 170,000 people chasing 30,000 spots, or 43,000 people (170/4) chasing 30,000 spots, or some other combination?

    I'll note that the official PAX twitter has 115,000 followers. That's for all PAX, and obviously not all of those are attendees in any given year (and not all attendees follow), but to me that suggests the number is perhaps north of the first (43,000) but less than the second (170,000)?

    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'm sure that when the initial PAX outgrew that facility and moved, there were people saying it wouldn't be the same.

    And, arguably, it isn't. In some ways, it's probably better. In others, perhaps worse. Mostly what I'm saying is that I think there may be a cutoff at which the con significantly deteriorates, and that that cutoff is probably somewhere north of the current level, and south of "the maximum that any con center in North America can hold." As such, I'm not sure that pulling the convention out of the current metro area, and out of a convention center that while not the largest isn't exactly small, is worth the gains. That's all I'm saying.

    PAX is different because it was designed for the general populace from the start. And the queues at the Expo hall shouldn't dictate the entirety of PAX. Lots of things ran out of room there. BYOC sold out. That means if it was in a bigger place, more people could BTOC. Panels were full. Now, the ones in the Paramount are stuck unless they find a bigger venue. But there were plenty of panels that could have expanded if extra space was available. Panel submissions themselves were filled quickly because there were only so many panel venues. Extra space would allow more of them.

    How large, seat-wise, is the largest non-main theater at East compared to the largest non-main at Prime? Just curious. I feel like every theater has grown since '09 (my first year), but that we haven't actually added theaters? And I feel like if we really wanted to, we could add theaters now without leaving the city.

    digitard wrote: »
    I'm curious as to which exhibitors had two hour lines. Because I didn't queue for anything more than 20 minutes. Even the CAH booth (which ran out of BBB far too damn quickly) was only 15 minutes. I queued there from when the expo opened, and still got into a downstairs seat at the Paramount for a 10:30 panel.

    CAH was, as I recall, upwards of an hour a couple times when I went by there. It was also capped. I didn't exactly take notes of which booths had what length lines, I just know that I did run into lines that were 90-120 minutes, some of which were also capped. Am I crazy? Does nobody else remember seeing any such lines? If nobody else can corroborate that 90-120 minute lines (and capped lines, and those that were both) existed, I'll concede the point and drop it. I have no proof. I didn't take pictures.

    But, even if there is a two hour line, does the fix need to be to shorten it? After all, you can always walk away and come back when it's shorter.

    If it's shorter. Again, this year and in years past there have been booths that were basically perma-capped after open.

    What if instead, the wait in line was simply more pleasant? People had a bit more room so they weren't bunched up together? A bit more space doesn't automatically mean they need to buy booth space. It can simply be that queues have breathing room and foot traffic flows a bit freer.

    Of course that would be nice. I'd love more floor space. But that's not necessarily what's being argued. If we're arguing more attendees, then that's likely going to be more booth space. Or at the very least a similar attendee density on the floor. If we're expanding so that the same number can enjoy a "nicer" experience, then that's a different idea entirely.

    And if there are more exhibitors, more things to see means fewer people queuing for the same thing at once, right?

    Not necessarily. Do I need to explain why?

    EDIT: And that's given a fixed number of attendees. With more attendees, then this definitely is not the case. Again, do I need to explain why?

    Do the big names warrant these long queues? Because someone willing to wait two hours has already made their mind up, haven't they? Either you know it's worth the wait, in which case you are queuing just to experience a game you know you are already going to buy, or you are so worried that it will suck you absolutely need to know before release. Other than that, you are surely better off leaving the queue to find something else to look at.

    I do agree, more or less. I've largely stopped bothering on AAA titles and the like for that reason. But honestly? I had fun back in '09, hitting booths for big-name titles that I was perhaps interested in, and getting to see/play/etc., just as part of the expo experience. It feels like it was easier to do that back then. I also feel like it was easier to walk up and get into PC freeplay back then. Or to get lunch. I could be crazy.

    Complaining that a two hour queue will turn into a three or four hour queue doesn't make sense to me. You are willing to wait two hours to see this 5/10/15 minute demo. But three is abhorrent? Saying that PAX shouldn't get bigger so you save 33% potential queuing time on the Big Name Game smacks of selfishness.

    It's not just about queue time in "big name" expo booths. That's just one of the more tangible, objective differences I can point to. There are other, more subtle things that change as the con grows as well, not all of them positive. I don't intend to try to "prove" this to you, though, so if you don't believe that this is the case then I guess I'll just shrug.

    Do you think PAX would be better if it had 75,000 attendees per day? 200,000?

    mcdermott on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    By the way, so it's clear, I think there are indeed things that could be done to increase attendance a bit, and to better utilize space inside the WTCC and Annex for a better con experience.

    I don't think at any point I've argued that, like, PAX can't get better, or even a bit bigger.

    I'm arguing with the "let's move it out of Seattle so we can double that fucker" concept.


    EDIT: And since PurpleSky mentioned that he wasn't actually arguing about moving Prime anyway, I'll just point to the thread title. It should be assumed that any and all of my comments are in that context.

    mcdermott on
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Seriously, though, they need to sell that Golden Ticket to All PAX Forever. I got room on the VISA.

    I believe they did at one of the CP Charity Dinner Auctions.

    -Beker/Erick
    gQPRxvs.png
  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    By the way, so it's clear, I think there are indeed things that could be done to increase attendance a bit, and to better utilize space inside the WTCC and Annex for a better con experience.

    I don't think at any point I've argued that, like, PAX can't get better, or even a bit bigger.

    I'm arguing with the "let's move it out of Seattle so we can double that fucker" concept.


    EDIT: And since PurpleSky mentioned that he wasn't actually arguing about moving Prime anyway, I'll just point to the thread title. It should be assumed that any and all of my comments are in that context.

    What are the things you think could be done?

    And do you object to moving it out of Seattle for any reason, or just to increase attendance capability?

    It seems like you have an objection to PAX being beyond a specific size. But you haven't been clear what exactly that size would be? Again, if the attendance did double, and things could be changed so as to not adversely impact the experience, would that be acceptable?

  • TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    I'll chime in with seeing multiple 2+ hour lines and perma capped hour-hour and half lines each day. Lines will seem short if you get to the queue hall hella early each day and are in one of the first (and maybe second) aisles to enter the expo hall since you're ahead of tens of thousands of others. It's after that when things get crazy. If you're not looking to stand in line for big AAA games or super-popular-gaming-thing-that-isn't-for-sale-yet, then you probably aren't going to see/feel the impact.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    What are the things you think could be done?

    Additional ballroom space in local hotels (we haven't quite hit 100%). Move LoL regionals and the like off-site, even if it's to another location accessible by public transit (rather than walking distance). Run shuttles? And of course the promised (but still theoretical) expansion of the WTCC.

    Could probably come up with more. Obviously these are all marginal things.

    And do you object to moving it out of Seattle for any reason, or just to increase attendance capability?

    I object to moving it out of Seattle to begin with, Seattle is where PAX was born and is its home. Yes, I know Bellevue is a separate municipality (because I've been "corrected" on that before), but it's still the Seattle metro area.

    Increasing attendance is actually the only valid reason I can actually think of to do so. Otherwise, the area of the WTCC is pretty fucking awesome, and contributes to the con. I haven't been to East, but it's my understanding (from folks that have done both) that the area around the con center isn't nearly the same.

    It seems like you have an objection to PAX being beyond a specific size. But you haven't been clear what exactly that size would be? Again, if the attendance did double, and things could be changed so as to not adversely impact the experience, would that be acceptable?

    Yes, that would be acceptable.

    I'm skeptical as to whether that's possible, that's the point. But yes, hypothetically, I have no problem with that. I'd welcome it. I don't like seeing people excluded, what kind of asshole do you think I am?

    I have no idea what the specific size may be. But each year PAX has grown, I feel like there have been subtle but real negative impacts from it. I feel like the positive of getting more discrete humans in the door is balanced out, at least to some extent, by the negative impact of having more attendees. I think that additionally, the benefit of moving to a larger venue in another metro would also be balanced out by the negative impact to the con from doing so, both in detaching it from its roots and, frankly, from the downtown Seattle area (which, aside from the slightly undersized con center, is pretty damn optimal).

    I see more negatives than positives to moving the con. It's that simple. It certainly isn't because I'm local; I make good money, I can afford a damn plane ticket. I already book a hotel room, just so I don't have to drive. If I lived in Chicago, or Vegas, or San Diego, or wherever people are suggesting, I'd probably still rather come here for it.

    I think a third US PAX would help, maybe, but East suggests that it may not. East badges for Saturday were on sale for fifty days, Prime badges for Saturday were on sale for fifty minutes. The marginal increase in capacity that Boston offers doesn't account for that. So PAX Chicago or Vegas or wherever will still sell out, and Prime will still sell out instantly. This won't change.

    What's the maximum size that I'd like to see? Like I said, I don't know. I think the WTCC is, conveniently, probably capped by its nature somewhere below that. But when I hear people suggesting con centers because they have double, or triple the space I wonder just how much people want to increase attendance. When I hear people say they don't want anybody left out of Prime that wants to go, same thing. I'm visualizing some 90,000 person-per-day monster that will in no way resemble what we have now. I'm fine if such a con is created, but I don't want Prime as we know it to go away.



    I think I mentioned concerts earlier. I like that huge bands occasionally play small club gigs, even if I know the odds of ever making it into one are slim to none. I would not rather they play some different arena that night, so that more people can go. Are they playing arena shows so that huge crowds can get to see them? Cool. Should they play nothing but arenas ever, so that nobody ever gets to see them in a small club again (but the maximum number of discrete humans get to see them)? Nope. I'd rather know that the awesome experience exists, even if I'm left out of it, than try and give as many people a mediocre experience as possible. Now that doesn't directly translate to PAX, but I think there are some parallels.

    But, hypothetically, if a magical venue existed that could fit 50,000 people but feel like a 300 seat bar to each attendee? Sure, I'd love for my favorite band to play there, forever and always. Like I said, I'm not an asshole, the exclusivity is not the point. It's a drawback. But perhaps worth it.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I'll chime in with seeing multiple 2+ hour lines and perma capped hour-hour and half lines each day. Lines will seem short if you get to the queue hall hella early each day and are in one of the first (and maybe second) aisles to enter the expo hall since you're ahead of tens of thousands of others. It's after that when things get crazy. If you're not looking to stand in line for big AAA games or super-popular-gaming-thing-that-isn't-for-sale-yet, then you probably aren't going to see/feel the impact.

    Seeing the line for Cards Against Humanity capped was an eye-opener. I mean, it wasn't ridiculously long, but it wasn't short either and it was capped multiple times that I tried to hit it. I think it only eased up when people realized there wasn't anything for sale in there you couldn't already get online, you were basically just in line to meet the folks.

    IIRC the line for Wolves Among Us was also capped, and long as hell, when I went there. And while I love Telltale, I don't think that qualifies as a AAA title.

    Thanks, though, for backing me up that such lines existed. Mister "I never queued for more than 20 minutes" had me worried for a moment that I went to some Bizarro PAX or something. Yes, if you refuse to wait in 90+ minute lines for things, or don't like the things that have 90+ minute lines, you won't wait in lines for 90+ minutes. Duh, right?

  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    I'll chime in with seeing multiple 2+ hour lines and perma capped hour-hour and half lines each day. Lines will seem short if you get to the queue hall hella early each day and are in one of the first (and maybe second) aisles to enter the expo hall since you're ahead of tens of thousands of others. It's after that when things get crazy. If you're not looking to stand in line for big AAA games or super-popular-gaming-thing-that-isn't-for-sale-yet, then you probably aren't going to see/feel the impact.

    What exactly were these for, and when did you hit them? Sunday was the only day I bothered with the queue room, most days I was just walking straight in. I didn't spend a lot of time at the Sony booth, but I did pick up 3 Pins there. I think the PAX Merch booth was the longest queue I bothered with.

    CAH line was only capped for the Bigger Blacker Box. For whatever reason they only had around 100-150 each day. If you weren't first in line you missed out. But that is down to inadequate stocking by CAH. Double attendance would still have had them run out 15 minutes into the day. But even that line was available if you wanted the regular game and expansions. And it didn't take more than 10-15 minutes moving through it.

    I'm going to try and get out to East next year, just to see if this whole "atmosphere" argument holds water. But really, it still seems strange to argue that the city will make such an impact that it is a reason to deny others who want to attend that possibility.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Trying to directly compare individual pax experiences is folly. I definitely saw monstrous lines. Doesn't mean I waited in any. East 2011 had the notorious 6 hour line for SWTOR.

    Also PAX East is fantastic. different, but great.

    mcdermott
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    I'm going to try and get out to East next year, just to see if this whole "atmosphere" argument holds water. But really, it still seems strange to argue that the city will make such an impact that it is a reason to deny others who want to attend that possibility.

    And again, from what I can tell (correct me if I'm wrong) badges for all three days of East were available for fifty days last year. So if the city/location doesn't matter, we don't have a problem yet.

    Unless you're going by a true "anybody who wants to attend" standard, which which case it's likely that PAX will sell out everywhere. I don't think there exists a venue large enough that you'll be able to (officially) buy badges at the door anymore. But that's a silly standard, and I'm assuming you're referring to the current "sells out in an hour" standard for Prime.

    mcdermott on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Also, I think I'm going to dub the "well I didn't have to wait in any long lines" thing as "PAX Hipsterism." I'll admit, I'm a PAX Hipster now too. I skip the long lines for AAA booths and stick to low-profile and indie stuff too. That doesn't mean the lines don't, you know, exist. And that they couldn't get longer (well, the ones that aren't perma-capped).

    EDIT: Oh, and "others who wanted to attend" could show up and get badges for about $10 over face at the door. They chose not to. Nobody was denied, they chose not to take advantage of that outlet. Once that supply is exhausted, then people will be truly excluded.

    mcdermott on
  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Unless you're going by a true "anybody who wants to attend" standard, which which case it's likely that PAX will sell out everywhere.

    Pretty much. Selling out in minutes for anything says there is far more demand than supply. If a bakery sold out of bread by 10am every day, what would the response be? Bake more. If PAX sells out in a single day, there needs to be greater capacity. That part is readily apparent.

    The problem is then how to accomplish that. Which is the point of the thread. One suggestion was relocation. Alternatives are welcome. But "do nothing" is unacceptable, since it doesn't solve anything.

  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Also, I think I'm going to dub the "well I didn't have to wait in any long lines" thing as "PAX Hipsterism." I'll admit, I'm a PAX Hipster now too. I skip the long lines for AAA booths and stick to low-profile and indie stuff too. That doesn't mean the lines don't, you know, exist. And that they couldn't get longer (well, the ones that aren't perma-capped).

    EDIT: Oh, and "others who wanted to attend" could show up and get badges for about $10 over face at the door. They chose not to. Nobody was denied, they chose not to take advantage of that outlet. Once that supply is exhausted, then people will be truly excluded.

    It's more a case of "Have I been Doing It Wrong?" Maybe I missed out on something really cool because I was in the wrong place. I know I missed out on the Tabletop room and the BYOC, but I was having fun in the Panels, the Expo and general PAXiness of it all, so perhaps that's The Point. Hopefully. But I didn't see any hour-long or longer lines. So an idea of where and when they are might point to a solution to all this.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Unless you're going by a true "anybody who wants to attend" standard, which which case it's likely that PAX will sell out everywhere.

    Pretty much. Selling out in minutes for anything says there is far more demand than supply. If a bakery sold out of bread by 10am every day, what would the response be? Bake more. If PAX sells out in a single day, there needs to be greater capacity. That part is readily apparent.

    The problem is then how to accomplish that. Which is the point of the thread. One suggestion was relocation. Alternatives are welcome. But "do nothing" is unacceptable, since it doesn't solve anything.

    The question, then, is what separates Prime from East.

    Because right now bread is available all day, but nobody wants that bread. They only want the "special" bread that runs out by 10am. Even though, by PurpleSky's reasoning, the "core elements" of the bread are exactly the same. So the question is, since nobody is actually starving, do we want to risk making the 10am bread less tasty, assuming it's somehow more tasty to begin with, so that everybody can have a bite? Or should the people that show up at 10:30am just, you know, eat the other delicious bread that's right there?

    Unless the argument is that the entire draw of Prime over East is the Labor Day weekend date, pretty much anything you do to try and grow Prime rather than, you know, encourage people to give East a shot risks screwing up whatever it is that makes Prime sell out in 50 minutes while East is available for 50 days.


    And I have sad news for you, people will always be excluded from Prime. There will always be insufficient capacity, no matter what location you choose. Frankly, I think people will always be excluded from PAX. East is, at present, open for registration for a long enough window that I don't consider it a "problem," but even if you add 1-2 more US locations a year I'd bet money all 3-4 still sell out before the doors open. Which means some poor nerd will be at home shaking his fist and wondering why they don't move it somewhere bigger, or start another one.

    Awesome events tend to fill up. Not everybody gets to go to them. This is true of sports, concerts, theatre, and conventions. Ain't gonna change, man. They will never be able to bake enough bread for everybody. At this point the only way you win is by lowering demand, which you basically only do by making the con shittier. Which, well, is an option.

  • CuvisTheConquerorCuvisTheConqueror I'm a different bird Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Seriously, though, they need to sell that Golden Ticket to All PAX Forever. I got room on the VISA.

    I believe they did at one of the CP Charity Dinner Auctions.

    It was also one of the Kickstarter prizes.

    That better be one hell of a VISA, though.

    xderwsaxganu.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    It's more a case of "Have I been Doing It Wrong?" Maybe I missed out on something really cool because I was in the wrong place. I know I missed out on the Tabletop room and the BYOC, but I was having fun in the Panels, the Expo and general PAXiness of it all, so perhaps that's The Point. Hopefully. But I didn't see any hour-long or longer lines. So an idea of where and when they are might point to a solution to all this.

    Frankly, if you were on the expo floor and didn't see any hour-long lines, you weren't paying attention.

    Which is cool, I'm glad you were enjoying your experience enough not to notice these bits, but...well...it kinda colors how much weight I might be inclined to give your view on what direction the con should or should not go.

    EDIT: God, reading that I don't know how to not sound like an elitist asshole when saying that. But, like, the long lines here and there are a "thing" at PAX that I thought everybody just, like, knew about. They're damn near omnipresent. If you managed to completely miss them, then you've clearly got a lot more PAX to see, and I hope you get the chance next year.

    mcdermott on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Beker wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Seriously, though, they need to sell that Golden Ticket to All PAX Forever. I got room on the VISA.

    I believe they did at one of the CP Charity Dinner Auctions.

    It was also one of the Kickstarter prizes.

    That better be one hell of a VISA, though.

    That was only good for five years. Then you're back out in the cold. ;)

    EDIT: That was only $2000, too, which really is only a few hundred over face value of single-day badges, at current rates.

    mcdermott on
  • TraitoriousTraitorious Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    I'll chime in with seeing multiple 2+ hour lines and perma capped hour-hour and half lines each day. Lines will seem short if you get to the queue hall hella early each day and are in one of the first (and maybe second) aisles to enter the expo hall since you're ahead of tens of thousands of others. It's after that when things get crazy. If you're not looking to stand in line for big AAA games or super-popular-gaming-thing-that-isn't-for-sale-yet, then you probably aren't going to see/feel the impact.

    What exactly were these for, and when did you hit them? Sunday was the only day I bothered with the queue room, most days I was just walking straight in. I didn't spend a lot of time at the Sony booth, but I did pick up 3 Pins there. I think the PAX Merch booth was the longest queue I bothered with.

    CAH line was only capped for the Bigger Blacker Box. For whatever reason they only had around 100-150 each day. If you weren't first in line you missed out. But that is down to inadequate stocking by CAH. Double attendance would still have had them run out 15 minutes into the day. But even that line was available if you wanted the regular game and expansions. And it didn't take more than 10-15 minutes moving through it.

    I'm going to try and get out to East next year, just to see if this whole "atmosphere" argument holds water. But really, it still seems strange to argue that the city will make such an impact that it is a reason to deny others who want to attend that possibility.
    The bigger Xbox One/PS4 games at the MS and Sony booths (particularly Titanfall, Battlefield 4, Killzone) had 2-3 hour waits after the lines filled, the Bethesda booth was pretty much capped every day with 2-3 hour waits, Oculus Rift was usually permacapped each time I walked by it, the Wolves Among Us line at the Telltale booth has almost always reaching the 2+ hour wait sign they erected, Bayonetta 2 had hour and half or greater wait times, Transistor had some pretty lengthy wait times as well, and the Windwaker HD lines seemed to go on forever.

    These are just the ones I remember as I either played them (I got to the queue hall early each day, so I was one of the first batch in and didn't have to wait long. Though as soon as I finished up my demo; I could see that the lines had already reached critical mass if not capped), or I walked by them enough times to see crazy long/capped lines multiple times each day. Other bigger publisher/developer booths looked busy, but can't comment on wait times since I didn't spend a lot of time in their booths.


    Traitorious on
  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    The bigger Xbox One/PS4 games at the MS and Sony booths (particularly Titanfall, Battlefield 4, Killzone) had 2-3 hour waits after the lines filled, the Bethesda booth was pretty much capped every day with 2-3 hour waits, Oculus Rift was usually permacapped each time I walked by it, the Wolves Among Us line at the Telltale booth has almost always reaching the 2+ hour wait sign they erected, Bayonetta 2 had hour and half or greater wait times, Transistor had some pretty lengthy wait times as well, and the Windwaker HD lines seemed to go on forever.

    These are just the ones I remember as I either played them (I got to the queue hall early each day, so I was one of the first batch in and didn't have to wait long. Though as soon as I finished up my demo; I could see that the lines had already reached critical mass if not capped), or I walked by them enough times to see crazy long/capped lines multiple times each day. Other bigger publisher/developer booths looked busy, but can't comment on wait times since I didn't spend a lot of time in their booths.

    So it's pretty much the AAA titles that are the problem then? I guess I got lucky at the Sony booth. But if these are the only places where there is a line issue, could the problem simply be the AAAs are not bringing enough demo station or buying enough booth space? Were they just making grossly inefficient use of the floorspace they currently have?

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    The bigger Xbox One/PS4 games at the MS and Sony booths (particularly Titanfall, Battlefield 4, Killzone) had 2-3 hour waits after the lines filled, the Bethesda booth was pretty much capped every day with 2-3 hour waits, Oculus Rift was usually permacapped each time I walked by it, the Wolves Among Us line at the Telltale booth has almost always reaching the 2+ hour wait sign they erected, Bayonetta 2 had hour and half or greater wait times, Transistor had some pretty lengthy wait times as well, and the Windwaker HD lines seemed to go on forever.

    These are just the ones I remember as I either played them (I got to the queue hall early each day, so I was one of the first batch in and didn't have to wait long. Though as soon as I finished up my demo; I could see that the lines had already reached critical mass if not capped), or I walked by them enough times to see crazy long/capped lines multiple times each day. Other bigger publisher/developer booths looked busy, but can't comment on wait times since I didn't spend a lot of time in their booths.

    So it's pretty much the AAA titles that are the problem then? I guess I got lucky at the Sony booth. But if these are the only places where there is a line issue, could the problem simply be the AAAs are not bringing enough demo station or buying enough booth space? Were they just making grossly inefficient use of the floorspace they currently have?

    Or, alternately, the demand to see these things is grossly out of proportion to other aspects of the show, regardless of your personal tastes.

    This is the reason the "if there are more booths around, there will be less people in these lines" argument doesn't necessarily work.

    If you have a 12 screen theater, with only one showing the current blockbuster, you'll get lines. Those shows will sell out. Even if the other movies remain half-empty.

    Some portion may be inefficient use of booth space and the like. But some of it is just that there are 30,000 humans coming in each day, and those things are popular.

    Look at Bethesda's booth space compared to the indie mega booth.

    Now look at Bethesda's revenues compared to all those games combined.

    Ain't rocket science.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Not to mention that if you hypothetically double the size of the con, without access to a "main theater" of double the size of the Paramount, now you're back to THAT being an issue. For both main theater panels and concerts.

    Not all individual attractions can scale as easily as the con as a whole, which is yet another issue to consider. Whether its AAA booths, the main theater, what have you.

    EDIT: removed and unecessarily snide comment. I apologize.

    mcdermott on
  • PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    It would be quite sad that another PAX wasn't added because of this trivial line discussion. This is such a lame reason to not have another PAX at a larger convention center. Lines got longer as PAX Prime increased in attendance, cold hard fact. But it does not hinder the quality of the show one bit. PAX Prime 13 is an example of a larger PAX that was able to adjust. People are capable of adapting to the long lines. The PAX organizers and show goers can easily adjust to this accordingly as PAX grows in size. Not having a PAX because of it is a cop-out and I hope that isn't what this conversation is trying to imply. If it is just a discussion of how to handle larger attendance then that's cool.

  • PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    Also, again I'm not advocating PAX Prime moving, I prefer the new convention idea instead. However, it should be mentioned that a convention using a larger venue to meet demand is not something new. GenCon did it in 2003 because Milwaukee wasn't big enough, so they moved to Indianapolis. Another small convention that is in the Milwaukee area (Midwest Gaming Classic) is running out of space at the hotel they use. Now there are talks of them moving to meet demand. It can be done and it does not affect the quality of the convention.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    PurpleSky wrote: »
    It would be quite sad that another PAX wasn't added because of this trivial line discussion. This is such a lame reason to not have another PAX at a larger convention center. Lines got longer as PAX Prime increased in attendance, cold hard fact. But it does not hinder the quality of the show one bit.

    That last bit is not a universal opinion.

    And this thread, see the title, is about moving Prime to address capacity.

    Adding another con is another option, but as I've pointed out repeatedly it doesn't address the problem, which is attendance at Prime. The capacity (whether large or small) of a third US con, frankly, doesn't matter. East badges, all three days, were available for 50 days. Prime was more like 50 minutes. A third con won't change that. As such, a third con is irrelevant to the issue in the OP.

    The problem isn't restricted availability at "all PAX as a whole." Just Prime. At least for now.

    mcdermott on
  • PurpleSkyPurpleSky Registered User regular
    I'd agree with this if East wasn't showing the same trend as Prime did. However, East's demand has gotten steadily worse. 3 days sold out in 1 day last year. The PAX sell out dates doc below is a good sign that more and more people are finding out about East and using it as an alternative to Prime. I know I am. I am positive that this year's sell out is going to be worse that last years, especially because of Prime 13's massive sellout.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AilPyWyh2FlbdGtjaG1pYjlMWENKaEdxY2dGRU95V1E#gid=0


    Granted I get your point. PAX organizers can't just keep adding PAX after PAX, that is unrealistic. I realize there is a limit and demand can never be fully met. But I am arguing that as long as there are larger convention centers out there that are perfect for PAX, considering using those centers should not be thrown off the table. Either by moving one of the existing PAX's or making a new one.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Yeah, I'd agree that adding a third NA event is probably both feasible and beneficial. Beyond that it gets sketchy. And that just benefits East. Prime will sell out no matter what, that can't be fixed. And I'd hate to see the character of the con changed in the attempt.

    That's all.

    And once a third (or fourth) con starts selling out, some kids will just have to learn the hard truth that not everybody gets to do everything. Yes, I'm jaded.

  • FireWaterFireWater Registered User regular
    I wonder if Penny Arcade could do a PAX a quarter or so. Maybe the West Coast needs 2 PAXes.

  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    FireWater wrote: »
    I wonder if Penny Arcade could do a PAX a quarter or so. Maybe the West Coast needs 2 PAXes.

    It isn't just PA that would need to do it though. Vendors would have to be willing to do that many, and I suspect that most aren't up for it. Adding an extra PAX to serve a different country still seems viable, hence the Europe and Japan/Korea guesses. But a third US PAX doesn't seem (to me, at least) to be worth it for the market. Increasing the size of the two that already exist is going to be the option that makes the most sense, but doing that will cause new issues. Solving those issues is going to be the hurdle to any expansion.

  • 00Fayt0000Fayt00 Registered User regular
    FireWater wrote: »
    I wonder if Penny Arcade could do a PAX a quarter or so. Maybe the West Coast needs 2 PAXes.

    This is just me...and I know many people won't agree with this...but why if they added a third convention in NA does it have to be East or West coast? The midwest is ignored so often, and I can say from experience that like 99% of people don't have any idea what PAX is because there are fewer conventions that come here. Yes, I understand that there are less people living in the Midwest, but still...it annoys me that it seems like the vast majority of times it isn't even considered for the big conventions. :/ Sorry...a bit of a rant, but just sayin.

  • PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    00Fayt00 wrote: »

    This is just me...and I know many people won't agree with this...but why if they added a third convention in NA does it have to be East or West coast? The midwest is ignored so often, and I can say from experience that like 99% of people don't have any idea what PAX is because there are fewer conventions that come here. Yes, I understand that there are less people living in the Midwest, but still...it annoys me that it seems like the vast majority of times it isn't even considered for the big conventions. :/ Sorry...a bit of a rant, but just sayin.

    Fewer people, further from most of the vendors places. The flyover states will always get the shaft, unless there is a population explosion or a new work sector is set up there. But that isn't likely any time soon.

  • ClixClix This guy I know Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    00Fayt00 wrote: »
    This is just me...and I know many people won't agree with this...but why if they added a third convention in NA does it have to be East or West coast? The midwest is ignored so often, and I can say from experience that like 99% of people don't have any idea what PAX is because there are fewer conventions that come here.

    Umm.. Gen Con and Origins?

    zerzhul
  • 00Fayt0000Fayt00 Registered User regular
    Imsorad wrote: »
    00Fayt00 wrote: »
    This is just me...and I know many people won't agree with this...but why if they added a third convention in NA does it have to be East or West coast? The midwest is ignored so often, and I can say from experience that like 99% of people don't have any idea what PAX is because there are fewer conventions that come here.

    Umm.. Gen Con and Origins?

    I said it was ignored OFTEN, not that there is never large conventions there. It is just like from the comments in this thread that everyone assumes East or West coast if they comment.

    But yes there are a few ;)

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Really, it's not like Seattle is central to some huge population either. I agree, a third con would fit nicely in one of the larger midwest metros, or Texas.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Really, it's not like Seattle is central to some huge population either. I agree, a third con would fit nicely in one of the larger midwest metros, or Texas.
    Texas does already have 2 gaming cons. Quake and Rooster Teeth. But I bet PAX could still work without really hurting either of them. Texas also has a number of game studios for a bit of that synergy.

    mcdermott
  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    PedroAsani wrote: »

    So your solution for those who want to go but can't due to space restrictions is simply: "tough. You don't get to be part of this. If you come as well, it will ruin it for me."

    If increasing the capacity of the venue means that lines are going to be longer, then we simply look for a solution to that new problem. You don't throw your hands up and say "Nothing can be done." Something can always be done. You just need to look harder, and be willing to work at it for longer.

    For example, if they were able to magically double the convention space, allowing twice as much booth space, attendees, panels and concerts, but current exhibitors were unable or unwilling to buy those booths, why not fill them with other exhibitors? The Indie Megabooth would welcome more space, and at the Q&A one guy mentioned a Game-themed musical. Boring but utilitarian, some booths had very cramped queuing space, so a bit of extra breathing room there wouldn't be amiss.

    I agree that more days would be unfeasible. But there are plenty of alternatives, and things I'm sure I haven't thought of, that could ameliorate the situation. Adding extra people to Sunday would be one of the simplest, given that many people with the 4-day badge took the Saturday as a reason to get crazy drunk and use Sunday as a rest day. That is a situation I don't see changing next year, since by all accounts the PAX parties were some people's favourite things.


    If you want to go, you can always go. Friday morning, badges for all days but Saturday were selling at face value right at the steps of the convention centre. Saturday badges sold for like 60 a pop (so 30 dollars above face). If 30 dollars is the difference between "I'm going to PAX" and "I can't go to PAX", then you probably shouldn't be going to PAX.

  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    PurpleSky wrote: »
    Ok first of all PAX has not drastically changed since 09. Everything that people have enjoyed about PAX was present at 13. There were evnt areas where 13 was better than 09. Multiple people, including me, have said 13 had the best offering of panels. So PAX improving is not something we should complain about. What problems were there are addressed at the Suggestions thread in the Prime forum. Only difference is size, which is what I'm arguing should not be a factor. 13 was much bigger than 09. Plus there will always be changes since the games industry itself is changing.

    PAX becoming more commercialized is probably the biggest change since 09. That I can't argue against. Things like MD and Comcast are things I wish would go away. But that was a minor change and still did not affect the overall enjoyment of the show. Those are also mentioned in the comments. PAX is a well organized show and I'm sure they have heard the complaints about that.

    I disagree completely. In 2009, lines weren't completely capped for the day for a game demo by 10:15 am. Now you have people camping out overnight in front of the queue room doors just so they'll be in the coveted 1st section let in so they can race to the demo they want to play. If you're in the 4th set of gates they open, everything is full up by the time you get to the booth (case in point: We went to the CAH booth both Saturday and Sunday and the line was capped out and the daily allotment of boxes was sold by the time we got there).

  • QuintiousQuintious Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    PurpleSky wrote: »
    There is nothing wrong with adding another PAX to a larger convention center. I'm not advocating moving Prime. I want prime where it is. But East has proven that the core of PAX does not change with moving to a slightly larger convention center and being able to accommodate more people. PAX Prime 13 has proven that a larger PAX that has more people does not affect the core of the experience. These imaginary issues, which must be imaginary since they haven't been mentioned yet, (if they are valid issues) could be addressed just like the commercialization issue.

    Size is not the factor. It's the show organizers. If they decide to change things drastically that will have the biggest effect on what makes PAX.

    First off, I thought you were talking about moving prime to grow attendance. I agree that adding a show may be fine. Though I'll note again that East takes almost two months to sell out (just for Saturday), so obviously this doesn't help the "everybody who wants to go can" thing.

    The problem is that, for whatever reason, people WANT Prime. Such that badges sell out three orders of magnitude faster.

    So PAX Chicago doesn't fix that.

    And your repeated focus on the "core" of the experience is my issue. Dude, the surface experience matters too. The core can still be there, even if the details suck.

    As for my "imaginary" issues, almost every single line feels longer. Almost every crowd is larger. It affects the overall feel of the con. Are these "core" issues? No. But they MATTER.

    Well, it's not hard to figure out why Prime sells out faster. First, more locals go to Prime than do East (more techies in Seattle than Boston, more people in the gaming industry, etc.). Second, East is held at the tail end of winter in Boston where the weather is unpredictable (and was very cold and unpleasant this year). Prime is held at the tail end of summer in Seattle, which is arguably the nicest place in the entire world in late August. Prime is also centrally located to a tonne of other things to do, whereas East is kind of off in no-man's land.

    mcdermott
This discussion has been closed.