I left PAX today feeling very "meh" and not that excited to return this weekend. I couldn't quite figure it out. I spent some time in the car on the ride home, and it finally hit me.
PAX has been ruined by "Lounges". It used to just be Twitch, where they had a small private area for Streamers to stream, chill out, etc. before meet and greets, etc. But now it has taken over PAX. Every big name there has a "Lounge" and essentially a velvet rope separating the average con-goer, and the "VIPs". Discord, Mixer, Aurus, Geico Gaming, Twitch, Alienware, Facebook Gaming, and others all had these exclusive areas, offering less and less square footage for actual experiences for the conference goers. It's really turned in to a "We're more important than you" situation, which is really unfortunate. Even the swag given out, is reserved for "insiders", partners, and preferred members.
It's a real bummer. PAX should be accessible to everyone. Not just the super famous.