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PAX South is officially dead, RIP 2015-2020

Crippl3Crippl3 ohnoRegistered User regular
edited November 10 in PAX South
Crippl3 on

Posts

  • VolcartheVolcarthe Registered User regular
    You can't grow what you don't ever fully support, but thanks for blaming the people for not wanting to go to an event that has no support the way literally every other PAX does.

    mnemonictutormig0
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    It was something of an odd duck, since East is only a a month or two after and it already had been established in the industry to show off the first big titles of the year, and then you had West in the late summer to showcase the big holiday releases. Unplugged has the tabletop niche, and Aus has a far more unique location. It just didn't fit in anywhere.

    That said, a lot of people did love South for its more low-key vibe compared to its bigger and bolder siblings. I never got to attend, but I heard it had the same atmosphere as the earlier years of East or West before they blew up, and South managed to maintain that atmosphere throughout its lifespan. Which perhaps was the real niche it provided to the PAX lineup.

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    crashmurphyRILMSTofystedeth
  • crashmurphycrashmurphy Registered User regular
    Sterica wrote: »
    It was something of an odd duck, since East is only a a month or two after and it already had been established in the industry to show off the first big titles of the year, and then you had West in the late summer to showcase the big holiday releases. Unplugged has the tabletop niche, and Aus has a far more unique location. It just didn't fit in anywhere.

    That said, a lot of people did love South for its more low-key vibe compared to its bigger and bolder siblings. I never got to attend, but I heard it had the same atmosphere as the earlier years of East or West before they blew up, and South managed to maintain that atmosphere throughout its lifespan. Which perhaps was the real niche it provided to the PAX lineup.

    All of this. 100% why we always went. The low-key nature was just super chill and vibey. It really did feel like home. It will be sorely missed.

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    RILMSmig0
  • Jake CappsJake Capps Patrick Space Force Base, FloridaRegistered User regular
    Sterica wrote: »
    That said, a lot of people did love South for its more low-key vibe

    Because that's what people want from video game conventions. Same price for a 1/4 of the content.

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    My Pinny Pal's Lanyard

    "Players are artists who create their own reality within the game." - Shigeru Miyamoto
  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah?

    Like in many cases PAX East or West is waiting six hours to play a game for 15 minutes. There’s more to PAX than that, and I understand that desire for a more intimate convention.

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    Crippl3
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    A significant amount of the folks I attend PAX with were also very interested in the low-key vibe, but it always felt a bit like running on borrowed time without the buy-in from more big exhibitors.

    RILMSStericaTofystedethNaphtali
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    It did feel like a con that was destined to fail eventually given the ever decreasing number of big name exhibitors.

    That said, given how long they waited to cancel it, it feels like we would have had a PAX South 22 if Texas hadn't opted to make it impossible to mandate proper safety precautions in the time of Covid.

    JaysonFour
  • MarinoMarino Giant Bomb Moderator / League of Heels Webmaster Registered User regular
    I only went once. I had a good time, but the only reason I went was because it was a perfect storm of events for my friends and I. In 2017, WWE was in town the same weekend. So, we got to see NXT Takeover, the Royal Rumble at the Alamodome, and play the Switch early. The "low key vibe" people have referenced is true and good in a way. It reminded me of early years of PAX, but I couldn't justify going again. Still, sad to see it go.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    Yeah, I loved South. It was just the right amount of con. Enough stuff that there was usually something to do, but I didn't have to spend half a day in line. And if I didn't want to do stuff I could hang with friends I only got to see at PAX and play board games or walk around San Antonio for lunch.

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    Crippl3KetarNaphtaliorthancstone
  • BrackardBrackard Registered User regular
    edited October 31
    For some of us, it's the only PAX we've been able to attend. I hadn't missed it once since inception. I glad I got the opportunity to experience it. It will be sorely missed.

    Brackard on
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    Tofystedethjmb83orthancstone
  • FUNCHOMCLALAFUNCHOMCLALA Registered User regular
    People do a lot of crying about the video game content, but at PAX South 2020, the tabletop was off the chain. Crowds like a rock concert.

    jmb83
  • mnemonictutormnemonictutor A Mnemonic Tutor in Silicon Valley DominariaRegistered User regular
    It is indeed a very sad day. Ironically, in 2019, I said that would be the last time I attended West. It is just too crowded and the convention center can't hold everything. I loved that with south, the convention center was so huge, everything fit in one building, even if half or more of the expo floor was empty. I don't know if I will attend PAX again as I am really not keen on how West is run/organized. I have no interest in going to the east coast. Australia is interesting, but it would be a one-time thing, not a yearly trip. I haven't quite processed it yet, but I think this is the end of PAX for me. Maybe I will change my mind in the future and attempt the mess that is West again, but probably not. It was fun hanging out with all of the PAX people over the last several years. All good things must come to an end.

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  • nbs2nbs2 Registered User regular
    Marino wrote: »
    I only went once. I had a good time, but the only reason I went was because it was a perfect storm of events for my friends and I. In 2017, WWE was in town the same weekend. So, we got to see NXT Takeover, the Royal Rumble at the Alamodome, and play the Switch early. The "low key vibe" people have referenced is true and good in a way. It reminded me of early years of PAX, but I couldn't justify going again. Still, sad to see it go.

    It's for the best that you didn't go. I missed the inaugural, but made it an annual event afterwards. Each year the crowds got a little bigger, the exhibitors got a little weaker, the Enforcers got a little crankier, and the overall event got a little worse-r. Had covid not killed 2020, I don't know that I would have bothered. This year might have been exciting, but I'm not surprised that it's dead. Reed/Penny Arcade struggled to adapt to the expanding Convention Center space and the end result was frustrated attendees. They struggled to capitalize on increased attendance and didn't really support the ancillary community that grows around the PAX. Actually, I take that back, they capitalized in one way - prices grew by leaps and bounds.

    A lot of Penny Arcade folks are really loyal to the comic, the writers, and PAX, but for me it was really just a convention that was a nearby chance to play games with friends over a dedicated weekend. By the end, we were leaning towards pooling our PAX (pass, hotel, gas, food) funds and renting a lake house for a weekend and playing games. It would have been a lot cheaper. We might not have gotten to see game demos, but there wasn't much of that happening by the end anyway, just janky flea market vendors as far as the eye could see.

    In the end, PAX South is dead and short of its miraculous resurrection PAX is dead to me. I'm sorry San Antonio, you were far too pretty to host a major gaming convention. BGG-con and Comicpalooza it is.

    jmb83
  • jmb83jmb83 Registered User regular
    Brackard wrote: »
    For some of us, it's the only PAX we've been able to attend. I hadn't missed it once since inception. I glad I got the opportunity to experience it. It will be sorely missed.

    I feel you, also went to PAX South since 2015. While it was annoying prices for tickets rose, at least the hotels were reasonable. But looking at everything, it was doomed to failure thanks to the idiots in charge.

    The date chosen was in January, hard to get hype up just after the holiday season when all their games were finished and being sold on shelves for at least a month, if not longer.
    We also had a good chance of being what PAX Unplugged is except that instead of doing that they started the Philadelphia PAX Unplugged and set it the month before.
    So yeah, everything that would have stacked in our favor was taken out of the equation.

  • mig0mig0 Registered User regular
    I have to admit I was in denial in 2020 because South felt smaller that year and in 2019. Fewer vendors in the exhibit floor was noticable in 2019 but 2020... didn't want to think they'd eliminate it but here we are. I blame mainly the timing- its too early in the year and too soon before East (which seems to have a wide flux of dates but it's big enough that it can be accommodated).

    The way they did South this year (completely ignored with Online and they at least attempted to have East, they made no such attempt with South, not even a "lets see if April can work" to then abandon it) was a huge red flag and indication they were pulling the plug. While I am not going to refuse to attend pax in the future as a result of this, this did dampen my enthusiasm for the events significantly. I think a less ambitious pax is a welcome change from the big spectacle that is West (and I assume East is) but they clearly wanted more out of South, but didn't really put the effort into it. Losing Twitch was a big problem; that Mixer went away for other reasons didn't help things.

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  • NamrokNamrok Registered User regular
    RIP PAX South. The first time I went, it was the first time anyone in the public got to put their hands on the Switch. I waiting in line (or around the line) an entire day to lay hands on it. I played Breath of the Wild for 20 minutes, and I knew right away this was the real deal. At the time, people though the Switch would fail, and Nintendo should get out of hardware. I instantly knew different, and invested thousands into NTDOY. I've been rewarded handsomely over the years.

    No PAX South after that felt as large and impressive. But they were accessible. Not just in that tickets were easy to get, and the accommodations in San Antonio were way cheaper than Boston. But also the security was not as intimidating. Boston PD and the security guards at PAX East left a really bad taste in my mouth. For many years entering the convention hall in San Antonio was easy breezy by comparison.

    To say nothing of how amazing the river walk was, all the places to eat, and all the margarita's consumed. Now I'll need to find another excuse to visit and fill up at the "Original Mexican Restaurant" down on the walk. Or enjoy the continental breakfast at the Crocket.

    PAX South will be missed.

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    It would have been nice to have a formal send-off for ‘22 or ‘23, but you can’t just organize these things on a whim like that

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  • Jake CappsJake Capps Patrick Space Force Base, FloridaRegistered User regular
    zerzhul wrote: »
    A significant amount of the folks I attend PAX with were also very interested in the low-key vibe

    I feel like they only liked that way because they attended other PAXs throughout the year. But if PAX South was the only one you went to it was like getting the short end of the stick.

    X4hAlPn.png

    My Pinny Pal's Lanyard

    "Players are artists who create their own reality within the game." - Shigeru Miyamoto
    Marino
  • mnemonictutormnemonictutor A Mnemonic Tutor in Silicon Valley DominariaRegistered User regular
    Jake Capps wrote: »
    zerzhul wrote: »
    A significant amount of the folks I attend PAX with were also very interested in the low-key vibe

    I feel like they only liked that way because they attended other PAXs throughout the year. But if PAX South was the only one you went to it was like getting the short end of the stick.

    I guess it depends on why you are at PAX. I used to go to West and South every year prior to the pandemic. The last West I went to before the pandemic hit, I had decided that it was too crowded and chaotic and I was going to only attend South from then on. I did that in 2020 and then the rona hit. Now I've lost South. I'm not going to guarantee that I will not attend West again, but I would have preferred to just attend South from now on. This is mainly because I didn't really care what big names were in the main expo hall. I spent a few hours in the expo hall on Day 1, got some merch, and the rest of my time was spend in the BYOC, table top area (MTG), arcade freeplay, console freeplay, etc. The expo hall was the literally the last reason I went to PAX. I understand that this is different for everyone, but this is why South was perfect for me. Huge convention center with tons of tables and seating for tabletop play, as well as spaced out console and arcade areas. I wish there was a con that focused on these things and did away with the expo hall altogether. Or maybe just make the expo hall vendors selling games/accessories/food/etc. If there is, please let me know, because I would love to attend such a con.

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    Ketar
  • FUNCHOMCLALAFUNCHOMCLALA Registered User regular
    I'm sad the PAX South page has been wiped out. No archive or anything. GONE, like it never existed. An archive would be a nice tribute.

    mig0
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