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PAX Tickets & Robert Khoo

KeroanKeroan Chicago, IllinoisRegistered User regular
Robert tweeted this earlier this morning, but he was recently interviewed by Geek Wire about how they struggle with the sheer demand of PAX tickets and Prime tickets more specifically. It's worth a read if you were interested in their thought process.

I can't imagine how frustrating it must be for the PAXen staff to try to come up with a fair process. In any case, you never win! As an economist myself, I see where logic would lead you to increasing ticket prices but I find it highly admirable that they keep it as low as they do. Many of my friends just scrape by and the highlight of their year is getting to fly to see all their online friends at PAX. To any staffers/enforcers, thanks for struggling to make PAX the beautiful collection of friends that it is. I'm sorry you get so much flak.

AaronElWhiteSuzamaThe_TimDesert LeviathanAlazullBombClancybyakuen
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Posts

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    I made this image a couple years ago, it's no less relevant now. I think it sums up every proposed change to badging.
    k0yg365ekrmz.png

    adias.angelRavenHuskyRiDESuzamaDesert Leviathanbyakuen
  • DeToX86DeToX86 Registered User regular
    Agreed. Thank you for the thankless job you perform. (Worse than thankless honestly since you end up being the focus of thousands of ticketless gamer's frustrations.)

    I thought the article was very well done and lays out a lot of the issues they face.

  • kcrobinsonkcrobinson Registered User regular
    Maybe I just did a better job of avoiding it this year, but I have seen an dramatic drop in comments of people complaining about missing out on tickets this year. Last year, it felt like everyone who didn't get tickets was angry and making suggestions like those that appear in this article. This year, I saw mostly "welp, that sucks" comments.

    Also, for what it's worth, every year there's at least one day where I'm at PAX and realize at the end of the day that I didn't practically nothing that required a badge. With all the stuff in the convention center that you can access without requiring a badge, I think people should still go, even if they didn't get a ticket. Of course, that's not very practical advice to people who need to get hotel rooms and plane tickets and such.

    AaronElWhiteLazorzbacon_avenger
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    It's awesome seeing four years of scalping/badge arguing boiled down in one interview with Khoo. And some handy numbers from the people that actually have them.

    Main takeaway being that the badges on eBay and held by scalpers outside are like 1% of the total, and that 500% more people want to go, meaning that even if you completely "solve" the scalping problem we'd still have twenty minute sell outs and a hundred thousand disappointed nerds. And that they've considered every option and what we have now strikes a balance.

    For instance, you're crazy if you don't think the rise in day price and loss of four day badges wasn't meant to encourage partial-weekend attendance. It's not about wanting to make more money on tickets...if it were it would have happened years ago, when we had one-day sellouts.

  • krae_mankrae_man Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    kcrobinson wrote: »
    Maybe I just did a better job of avoiding it this year, but I have seen an dramatic drop in comments of people complaining about missing out on tickets this year. Last year, it felt like everyone who didn't get tickets was angry and making suggestions like those that appear in this article. This year, I saw mostly "welp, that sucks" comments.

    Also, for what it's worth, every year there's at least one day where I'm at PAX and realize at the end of the day that I didn't practically nothing that required a badge. With all the stuff in the convention center that you can access without requiring a badge, I think people should still go, even if they didn't get a ticket. Of course, that's not very practical advice to people who need to get hotel rooms and plane tickets and such.

    By "Stuff that doesn't require a badge", do you really mean "stuff they aren't as diligent at checking for badges"? Because I think stuff like the arcade and tabletop areas are still supposed to require a badge.

    krae_man on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2015
    Yeah there is no official part of pax that does not require a badge. I guess you can hang out near the dance central stage without one, but that's really it as far as pax things in the convention center goes.

    zerzhul on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    Yeah there is no official part of pax that does not require a badge. I guess you can hang out near the dance central stage without one, but that's really it as far as pax things in the convention center goes.

    Yeah but I think maybe it's referring to the many parties and events around the con? Both exhibitor-run and attendee-run. Triwizard being the first to come to mind, but plenty of others. Then gaming in all the hotel lobbies and bars.

    If I flew to Seattle and had a day (like Saturday) with no badge, I'd still feel like part of the con.

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Sure, but that person specifically said in the convention center. I agree that there's lots to do outside of PAX *outside* the convention center.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Fair. I think my brain auto-corrected that to "near" not "in." Yeah, in the actual convention center without a badge you can...eat Taco Del Mar by a giant LoL statue?

  • shdwcastershdwcaster West Dakota?Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Fair. I think my brain auto-corrected that to "near" not "in." Yeah, in the actual convention center without a badge you can...eat Taco Del Mar by a giant LoL statue?

    Walk around in Freeway Park and look at cosplayers if the weather's nice...

  • The_TimThe_Tim Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    Hi all, I wrote this article (well, the intro and the questions for Khoo, obviously) and just wanted to say that I'm glad that you found it useful.

    The_Tim on
    shdwcasterKeroanFenrisfangDesert Leviathanadias.angelfirewaterwordPikaPuffBouwsT
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    So he mentions that scalped tickets represent less than 1% of sales, but then states that the reason they don't announce sales is due to scalpers. So was there a time way back when, that they did pre-announce sale times and scalpers were an issue, and then implement the current system to combat them?

    Hoboking006 on
    May PAX be upon you.
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    So he mentions that scalped tickets represent less than 1% of sales, but then states that the reason they don't announce sales is due to scalpers. So was there a time way back when, that they did pre-announce sale times and scalpers were an issue, and then implement the current system to combat them?

    There was an east, 2013 maybe, where ticket sales were announced ahead of time. Data was gathered.

    -Beker/Erick
    gQPRxvs.png
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    So he mentions that scalped tickets represent less than 1% of sales, but then states that the reason they don't announce sales is due to scalpers. So was there a time way back when, that they did pre-announce sale times and scalpers were an issue, and then implement the current system to combat them?

    There was an east, 2013 maybe, where ticket sales were announced ahead of time. Data was gathered.

    Makes sense then.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Fair. I think my brain auto-corrected that to "near" not "in." Yeah, in the actual convention center without a badge you can...eat Taco Del Mar by a giant LoL statue?

    A lot of PAX community meetups happen in the 2nd floor lounge by the Rock Band stage.
    So he mentions that scalped tickets represent less than 1% of sales, but then states that the reason they don't announce sales is due to scalpers. So was there a time way back when, that they did pre-announce sale times and scalpers were an issue, and then implement the current system to combat them?

    3rd party in total is less than 1%. And that includes the large number of folks who's plans change or who just buy an extra because they can. I'd guess those outnumber actual organized scalping.

  • TheAggroCraigTheAggroCraig Ultimate Lucky Douchebag MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    So he mentions that scalped tickets represent less than 1% of sales, but then states that the reason they don't announce sales is due to scalpers. So was there a time way back when, that they did pre-announce sale times and scalpers were an issue, and then implement the current system to combat them?

    There was an east, 2013 maybe, where ticket sales were announced ahead of time. Data was gathered.

    That was such a nightmare and I'm happy that it will never(?) happen again.

    LazorzLoonyEclipsemcdermottadias.angel
  • The_TimThe_Tim Registered User regular
    So he mentions that scalped tickets represent less than 1% of sales, but then states that the reason they don't announce sales is due to scalpers. So was there a time way back when, that they did pre-announce sale times and scalpers were an issue, and then implement the current system to combat them?

    It's also worth noting that Penny Arcade doesn't have to pre-announce a ticket sales time to know that doing so would lead to an increase in scalping. It appears to be a well-known fact in the ticket sales business. This is from the Louis CK link I put in the article:
    GROSS: Yeah. How does scalping work nowadays?

    C.K.: I don’t know everything about it, but here’s what I know. There’s people who have a setup. They have, like – you know, some ticket companies say you can only buy a certain amount of tickets. So they have, like, you know, a thousand credit cards and they have either highly manned or automated systems where they’re sitting there with their credit cards ready because they know the tickets are going on sale at 10 AM…

    GROSS: I see.

    C.K.: …exactly whatever it is. August 4th, 10 AM, tickets to this show are going on sale. The guy’s sitting there with, like, 50 people on phones, and they immediately start buying…

  • Desert LeviathanDesert Leviathan Registered User regular
    I'll admit, I've been the frustrated whiner in the past, making posts that could be summarized as "change things to disenfranchise someone else, and let me in." Or else suggesting a change of venue, as if they could pack the whole show up as easily as a carnival booth and plop it down comfortably wherever they like. But clearly, I had no idea what I was talking about.

    I think if anyone wants to make a case for having a better understanding than Robert Khoo of Business in general, and Penny Arcade Business in specific, I'm going to need to see some more robust credentials than "has the capability to post on the internet".

    Realizing lately that I don't really trust or respect basically any of the moderators here. So, good luck with life, friends! Hit me up on Twitter @DesertLeviathan
    YoungFreyforbiddenvoidHodurSkeleVader
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    The_Tim wrote: »
    So he mentions that scalped tickets represent less than 1% of sales, but then states that the reason they don't announce sales is due to scalpers. So was there a time way back when, that they did pre-announce sale times and scalpers were an issue, and then implement the current system to combat them?

    It's also worth noting that Penny Arcade doesn't have to pre-announce a ticket sales time to know that doing so would lead to an increase in scalping. It appears to be a well-known fact in the ticket sales business. This is from the Louis CK link I put in the article:
    GROSS: Yeah. How does scalping work nowadays?

    C.K.: I don’t know everything about it, but here’s what I know. There’s people who have a setup. They have, like – you know, some ticket companies say you can only buy a certain amount of tickets. So they have, like, you know, a thousand credit cards and they have either highly manned or automated systems where they’re sitting there with their credit cards ready because they know the tickets are going on sale at 10 AM…

    GROSS: I see.

    C.K.: …exactly whatever it is. August 4th, 10 AM, tickets to this show are going on sale. The guy’s sitting there with, like, 50 people on phones, and they immediately start buying…

    Well that's interesting, but the logistics of tickets being sold in C.K example are different, so that's not really empirical evidence that reflects the nature of PAX tickets sales and it's not a peer reviewed article on the nature of scalpings impact on industry, so I'm skeptical of the claim until I can research it myself. Not a criticism of the article, just my training.

    That being said if they did have a time where they pre-announced it, or have access to private industry research then Khoo et al know the numbers. Also since current scalping is insignificant that's an indication that they shouldn't fix what ain't broke. All things being equal I'm happy with the current system, I'm just asking about how they know what they know.

    EDIT: Found some microeconomics articles on the subject, they mostly focused on the enhancement of "welfare" in a free market due to scalping, but they did mention it being akin to a large industry with block purchases. Looks like I got my answer about how they know.

    Hoboking006 on
    May PAX be upon you.
  • PrunciblePruncible Registered User regular
    Found some microeconomics articles on the subject, they mostly focused on the enhancement of "welfare" in a free market due to scalping

    For those who didn't have to take economics, "welfare" has a non-intuitive meaning for economists. It's easiest to express it as "the total value given to all possible buyers and sellers".

    mcdermottDr.RocktipusshdwcasterKeroan
  • MrT137MrT137 Registered User regular
    Thanks for interviewing Robert and writing that article! Glad to hear his thought process.

    However, I don't think they seriously consider the merits of raising ticket prices to level out supply and demand. You would defeat the scalpers, and the fans willing to pay $200+ (just throwing out a number) wouldn't have to be lucky to be online at the right time tickets go on sale. They could use the extra funds needed beyond the convention costs and donate them to Child's Play, and I don't think anyone would complain about that.

    What happens now is effectively a lottery that is slightly skewed towards gamers that can be online all the time constantly checking to see if tickets are available.

    Afterthought: It looks like Pax Prime ticket prices went up a lot since last year, so perhaps they are letting the price float upwards. Since tickets sold out even faster than before, it looks like they underestimated the demand again.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    MrT137 wrote: »
    Thanks for interviewing Robert and writing that article! Glad to hear his thought process.

    However, I don't think they seriously consider the merits of raising ticket prices to level out supply and demand. You would defeat the scalpers, and the fans willing to pay $200+ (just throwing out a number) wouldn't have to be lucky to be online at the right time tickets go on sale. They could use the extra funds needed beyond the convention costs and donate them to Child's Play, and I don't think anyone would complain about that.

    What happens now is effectively a lottery that is slightly skewed towards gamers that can be online all the time constantly checking to see if tickets are available.

    Afterthought: It looks like Pax Prime ticket prices went up a lot since last year, so perhaps they are letting the price float upwards. Since tickets sold out even faster than before, it looks like they underestimated the demand again.

    Scalping is not a big problem. It's less than 1% of tickets. Sure raising the price a lot would reduce scalping, but it would also seriously change who got to go to PAX. Family attendance would plummet, just for the most obvious. Penny Arcade is obviously quite intent on keeping PAX for everyone as much as possible(Roberts says that in the article I belive). The people who can pay a huge price tag, already have that option. The people without that money currently have options. A higher upfront would remove any chance for them.

  • forbiddenvoidforbiddenvoid Cupertino, CARegistered User regular
    edited May 2015
    MrT137 wrote: »
    Thanks for interviewing Robert and writing that article! Glad to hear his thought process.

    However, I don't think they seriously consider the merits of raising ticket prices to level out supply and demand. You would defeat the scalpers, and the fans willing to pay $200+ (just throwing out a number) wouldn't have to be lucky to be online at the right time tickets go on sale. They could use the extra funds needed beyond the convention costs and donate them to Child's Play, and I don't think anyone would complain about that.

    What happens now is effectively a lottery that is slightly skewed towards gamers that can be online all the time constantly checking to see if tickets are available.

    Afterthought: It looks like Pax Prime ticket prices went up a lot since last year, so perhaps they are letting the price float upwards. Since tickets sold out even faster than before, it looks like they underestimated the demand again.

    They didn't underestimate the demand. They know the demand is high. That's not the point. The point is democratizing the availability of passes for PAX. PAX is not supposed to be only for people who can afford an outrageous ticket price. If they have to make a decision (which they do) about cutting off people who can't afford it or cutting off people who aren't available when the tickets go on sale, they're going to elect the latter. That's not a misunderstanding of the economics, it's quite an intentional decision.

    forbiddenvoid on
    PAX. PAX. PAX. Boom.
  • MrT137MrT137 Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    MrT137 wrote: »
    Thanks for interviewing Robert and writing that article! Glad to hear his thought process.

    However, I don't think they seriously consider the merits of raising ticket prices to level out supply and demand. You would defeat the scalpers, and the fans willing to pay $200+ (just throwing out a number) wouldn't have to be lucky to be online at the right time tickets go on sale. They could use the extra funds needed beyond the convention costs and donate them to Child's Play, and I don't think anyone would complain about that.

    What happens now is effectively a lottery that is slightly skewed towards gamers that can be online all the time constantly checking to see if tickets are available.

    Afterthought: It looks like Pax Prime ticket prices went up a lot since last year, so perhaps they are letting the price float upwards. Since tickets sold out even faster than before, it looks like they underestimated the demand again.

    Scalping is not a big problem. It's less than 1% of tickets. Sure raising the price a lot would reduce scalping, but it would also seriously change who got to go to PAX. Family attendance would plummet, just for the most obvious. Penny Arcade is obviously quite intent on keeping PAX for everyone as much as possible(Roberts says that in the article I belive). The people who can pay a huge price tag, already have that option. The people without that money currently have options. A higher upfront would remove any chance for them.

    Yeah, I see your point, and I know that scalping really isn't the issue. I'd argue that family attendance is already decreasing because it's hard for working people to be online at the correct moment to buy tickets and/or contact the spouse to say, "Hey honey, are we still free to go to PAX six months from now?" Within my friends, I've seen less of them bringing families to PAX (might be a price thing already).

    And my biggest issue is that it's really tough to get a group of friends together because of the current pricing situation. Even if one of us sees tickets on sale, most of us won't be online for at least a few hours. The other option is to have one person buy tickets for every 4 people, but there's risk in buying tickets for friends without checking with them. Maybe it's just that my group of gamers are too casual, but several years in a row I try to get everyone to commit to PAX far in advance and let them know they either need to be online all the time, or let me buy tickets (at an unknown price) for them. It really doesn't work out well for us, and kind of puts a damper on group fun at PAX because people inevitably get left out.

    Edit: I don't even necessarily disagree with their decision, I just don't like it, lol. :)

    MrT137 on
  • sanovahsanovah Nerd of the West San Diego, CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    TBH man it sounds like your group is just unorganized. The couple times I've gone in a group we all knew who wanted to go and who could afford to pay upfront. When tickets went up the first person in texted/called the rest.

    They could also honestly probably charge $50-100 a day and still sell out in no time while alienating a large part of their base. TBH I find it hard to imagine a price point that people would actually pay that's high enough to extend sale time. Demand just far surpasses what WSCC and downtown Seattle can accommodate and it's always going to be like that. They're working on a convention center expansion so that should allow an undetermined amount of more people in or PAX might move one day but either way there's more people that want in than they can fit

    Dr.RocktipusFenrisfang
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    IIRC badges for Saturday are now selling out quite quickly for East, so it's unclear that the convention center is the issue. With demand at 5x or more of supply, it's just not a solveable problem.

    And as noted, prices have gone from $60 for a three day badge just a few years ago to $160 this year for a "four day." That's a huge jump.

    And setting prices when supply is constrained (as with concert/convention tickets) is literally covered in Econ 101. Along with why "keep raising prices until you reach equilibrium" isn't always a feasible solution.

    The short version, and I believe it is basically how my prof put it, is "nobody wants to be the asshole charging kids $300 a pop for nosebleed tickets." The additional revenue isn't worth it (and that negative goodwill can have real long term monetary effects) so they let the scalpers be the assholes.

    IncreaseBlueforbiddenvoidLazorz
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    MrT137 wrote: »
    YoungFrey wrote: »
    MrT137 wrote: »
    Thanks for interviewing Robert and writing that article! Glad to hear his thought process.

    However, I don't think they seriously consider the merits of raising ticket prices to level out supply and demand. You would defeat the scalpers, and the fans willing to pay $200+ (just throwing out a number) wouldn't have to be lucky to be online at the right time tickets go on sale. They could use the extra funds needed beyond the convention costs and donate them to Child's Play, and I don't think anyone would complain about that.

    What happens now is effectively a lottery that is slightly skewed towards gamers that can be online all the time constantly checking to see if tickets are available.

    Afterthought: It looks like Pax Prime ticket prices went up a lot since last year, so perhaps they are letting the price float upwards. Since tickets sold out even faster than before, it looks like they underestimated the demand again.

    Scalping is not a big problem. It's less than 1% of tickets. Sure raising the price a lot would reduce scalping, but it would also seriously change who got to go to PAX. Family attendance would plummet, just for the most obvious. Penny Arcade is obviously quite intent on keeping PAX for everyone as much as possible(Roberts says that in the article I belive). The people who can pay a huge price tag, already have that option. The people without that money currently have options. A higher upfront would remove any chance for them.

    Yeah, I see your point, and I know that scalping really isn't the issue. I'd argue that family attendance is already decreasing because it's hard for working people to be online at the correct moment to buy tickets and/or contact the spouse to say, "Hey honey, are we still free to go to PAX six months from now?" Within my friends, I've seen less of them bringing families to PAX (might be a price thing already).

    And my biggest issue is that it's really tough to get a group of friends together because of the current pricing situation. Even if one of us sees tickets on sale, most of us won't be online for at least a few hours. The other option is to have one person buy tickets for every 4 people, but there's risk in buying tickets for friends without checking with them. Maybe it's just that my group of gamers are too casual, but several years in a row I try to get everyone to commit to PAX far in advance and let them know they either need to be online all the time, or let me buy tickets (at an unknown price) for them. It really doesn't work out well for us, and kind of puts a damper on group fun at PAX because people inevitably get left out.

    Edit: I don't even necessarily disagree with their decision, I just don't like it, lol. :)

    I can sympathize, I was the one in my group who was able to get in for gen sale tickets because I was the only one able to check my phone on the job. Even in the moment I had to make some executive decisions because things changed last minute after months of prep and I couldn't get a hold of people. So while there are work arounds, I think it does affect the demographics compared to say SDCC by reducing the number of older participants and those who don't have jobs that allow them to sit at a computer for hours.

    I'm also still of the opinion that if PAX could implement a system like what's used for SDCC it would be a more systemically inclusive. It's such an efficient system, people know when tickets are on sale, it's done at a time that most aren't working, your badge is picked up with an ID the day before the con(so it doesn't cut into con time), and those who went the year before have two chances to buy tickets. In my experience the PAX badge buying system is way more uncertain than the SDCC system.

    That being said SDCC has a larger network of hotels for pick up, a bigger convention center to work with, and a larger army of personal, compared to Pax. Which khoo alluded to when he said they crunched the numbers on it(not specifically SDCC but the logistics of the id pick up system). Maybe after Seattle expands the convention center the calculus of the problem will change. Till then people are just going to have to make things work on their end, forming badge buying groups being the main strategy (same for SDCC really).

    May PAX be upon you.
  • jthom252jthom252 Registered User regular
    My only real issue with getting tickets over the last few years is that they almost always launch around noon PST, a time when most of us will be at work or school. I understand why they don't want to announce it ahead of time but it does feel like the evenings would better accommodate many more individuals with other commitments. That, and being stuck trying to buy tickets over mobile has always been a pretty rough experience, it's tough to tell if you're still connected or not when you're relying on 3G or LTE in a not so great area.

  • The AviatrixThe Aviatrix Registered User regular
    I was thinking that the noon time this year was great. My brother was checking his phone as he was headed to lunch when he saw the sale had popped. Rather than in the middle of when he should be working. The previous three years were near 10am PST.

    Any time is going to have a group left out in the cold. Evenings harms people who work nights, people who have dinner with family, people whose children have after school activities, people who take evening classes, etc.
    (And I dunno about you... but I'd rather my PAX badge stress cease come evening. I'd like to spend my nights relaxing, not worrying about refreshing a page regularly just in case a notification broke.)

    x5XpZBK.pngEz7XjRx.pngml9Z6gf.png
  • IncreaseBlueIncreaseBlue Registered User regular
    edited May 2015
    I kind of like the uncertainty of PAX ticket sales. Stressful? Yes, but this year was markedly nicer because of the fact that they ruled out April as a sale month and narrowed down the time a little bit.

    My buddies all tried for SDCC tickets. Queue numbers and everything. Out of five people in their group, only one effectively got in before everything was sold out. I'd honestly rather have a wider time frame (i.e. one month) for when tickets can go on sale, because I agree that it gives me a better fighting chance. To each his own though.

    IncreaseBlue on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I kind of like the uncertainty of PAX ticket sales. Stressful? Yes, but this year was markedly nicer because of the fact that they ruled out April as a sale month and narrowed down the time a little bit.

    My buddies all tried for SDCC tickets. Queue numbers and everything. Out of five people in their group, only one effectively got in before everything was sold out. I'd honestly rather have a wider time frame (i.e. one month) for when tickets can go on sale, because I agree that it gives me a better fighting chance. To each his own though.

    Especially since with something like SDCC, you can't resell or buy on a secondary market. Missed out in the queue? Better luck next year. I've tried twice to go to SDCC, and have determined I'm just never going to go to SDCC. Can't be done.

    Whereas I've yet to miss a PAX (Prime) in six years (seven as of 2015).

    IncreaseBlue
  • jthom252jthom252 Registered User regular
    That's a good point, as much as everyone dislikes the scalpers it's always nice to have it as a last resort if you can't get your tickets normally. I know I've had to rely on second-hand tickets at least once, and as sell out times increase I know I'll probably use them again in the future.

    IncreaseBlueSkeleVader
  • Hoboking006Hoboking006 Registered User regular
    jthom252 wrote: »
    That's a good point, as much as everyone dislikes the scalpers it's always nice to have it as a last resort if you can't get your tickets normally. I know I've had to rely on second-hand tickets at least once, and as sell out times increase I know I'll probably use them again in the future.

    There are still some scalpers at SDCC, but my point wasn't that it's physically easier to get tickets, but a less uncertain process. I've been able to go to every PAX and every SDCC I've applied for, so for me both processes have worked, but SDCC is just easier for my (SDCC) group to organize and participate while PAX current system prevents many of my friends from even attempting.

    But again there are obviously factors that limit what PAX can do in terms of size and infrastructure, so it's kind of moot.

    May PAX be upon you.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    jthom252 wrote: »
    That's a good point, as much as everyone dislikes the scalpers it's always nice to have it as a last resort if you can't get your tickets normally. I know I've had to rely on second-hand tickets at least once, and as sell out times increase I know I'll probably use them again in the future.

    There are still some scalpers at SDCC, but my point wasn't that it's physically easier to get tickets, but a less uncertain process. I've been able to go to every PAX and every SDCC I've applied for, so for me both processes have worked, but SDCC is just easier for my (SDCC) group to organize and participate while PAX current system prevents many of my friends from even attempting.

    But again there are obviously factors that limit what PAX can do in terms of size and infrastructure, so it's kind of moot.

    It's my understanding that SDCC badges are entirely non-transferrable. I don't doubt that some scalpers exist, but the for-life ban on future purchases seems to chill any sort of casual resale of badges, as with PAX. I was unable to locate a badge for SDCC when I was down there while the con was on. It's not the kind of thing you can just "decide" to go to. Especially given the registration process.

  • jthom252jthom252 Registered User regular
    Blizzcon is pretty similar in my experience, but there's a fair amount of people that will offer to buy a ticket from you or sell you one around the area, it's just not on the scale of PAX but I think some of that is due to laws between the different states. I still prefer having tickets be transferable, since as mentioned above it does give people a chance, and it makes dropping the $150 on tickets feel like less of a risk.

    I hope the whole construction news brings some help to PAX but there's so many different factors at play that I doubt they'll ever be able to facilitate the majority of people that want to be there.

  • shdwcastershdwcaster West Dakota?Registered User regular
    jthom252 wrote: »
    Blizzcon is pretty similar in my experience, but there's a fair amount of people that will offer to buy a ticket from you or sell you one around the area, it's just not on the scale of PAX but I think some of that is due to laws between the different states. I still prefer having tickets be transferable, since as mentioned above it does give people a chance, and it makes dropping the $150 on tickets feel like less of a risk.

    I hope the whole construction news brings some help to PAX but there's so many different factors at play that I doubt they'll ever be able to facilitate the majority of people that want to be there.

    Khoo says that demand is currently 4x - 5x the supply. In addition to the current facility expansion, the WSTCC is looking to double their overall capacity with another facility to be build past the Paramount Theatre, that would (theoretically) double their capacity. Source

    Thing is, even if demand remains static for the next five years (seems unlikely), if PAX expanded to fill the entire 2nd facility, plus kept all of their current locations, and that capacity expansion actually resulted in doubling the tickets that could be sold, you'd still have demand at 2x - 2.5x supply.

  • SanDogWepsSanDogWeps Limerick Monger San DiegoRegistered User regular
    There's also this: Even if there were a space that could accommodate 4 to 5 times the number of gamers who wanted to attend, would developers and publishers and retailers attend in enough force to make it worth while? Think the line for Fallout 4 (dreaming) or whatever other game you want to try out is long now? Imagine 4 to 5 times longer. Blizzard doesn't go anymore. CCP (EVE Online and Dust 514) doesn't go anymore. I don't think Geek Chiq is going to suddenly bring 5 times more product and rent 5 times the booth space. Nor is WotC or Fantasy Flight or Konami.

    Devil's advocate here, honestly. It would be awesome to see an event that well attended and that well balanced. I just don't think the numbers can work out. It's tough to fight math.

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  • forbiddenvoidforbiddenvoid Cupertino, CARegistered User regular
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    PAX. PAX. PAX. Boom.
    adias.angel
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    SanDogWeps wrote: »
    There's also this: Even if there were a space that could accommodate 4 to 5 times the number of gamers who wanted to attend, would developers and publishers and retailers attend in enough force to make it worth while? Think the line for Fallout 4 (dreaming) or whatever other game you want to try out is long now? Imagine 4 to 5 times longer. Blizzard doesn't go anymore. CCP (EVE Online and Dust 514) doesn't go anymore. I don't think Geek Chiq is going to suddenly bring 5 times more product and rent 5 times the booth space. Nor is WotC or Fantasy Flight or Konami.

    Devil's advocate here, honestly. It would be awesome to see an event that well attended and that well balanced. I just don't think the numbers can work out. It's tough to fight math.

    Is there information on Blizzard or CCP not going anymore, or are you stating that as a hypothetical? I can't see them not going because more people are going to see their product--that's actually a positive. It's still good marketing because they're still going to get as many people through the experience as they can, and then they have thousands of people constantly walking by, ogling their booth, all day for 4 days. Only now it's thousands MORE people.

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  • SolelronSolelron Wandering Gamer Cornelius, ORRegistered User regular
    another factor is that bigger expansion=more space=higher cost..to both developers and attendees (as there are insurance things and other factors)

    and Blizzard was there last year. nothing saying they won't be back this year again.

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