BattleGround Arena is a booth that held a D&D 5e gladitory fight that anyone can sign up for. When I talked to one of the exhibitors about the game, he said that the game is a 3 hour (sometimes longer) boss fight. Your characters are decided by a random draw by paying $20 for a pack of 4 D&D miniatures. All fun and good. I was down to play. We met an hour later at the requested meet time for anyone who signed up. It took 45 minutes to set up as we all got our first packs and character sheets. However, after we rolled initiative, the exhibitors said that players could purchase additional boxes for extra lives and abilities. A few players decided to jump on this, which delayed the game by an additional 10 minutes. So now I've been waiting for an hour to play, and we haven't even started.
We finally get to the first round of play and things are moving slow, but steady. However, the rounds begin to take forever. Each player's turn was about 6 minutes each, some even taking 12 minutes. As we approached the 3 hour mark of play, many of us were feeling the pain of standing on solid concrete, and we weren't having fun anymore. The exhibitors announced a "Half-way" point moment where players can purchase MORE boxes to get better abilities or characters to kill the boss that had barely been touched. I had decided, along with a few friends, that we were not having fun, very hungry as the game "started" at 11:30, and just tired from the "pay to play" mentality the exhibitors were giving.
I told the host that I had to unfortunately drop out as I also had to get food for my younger sister who was with me and the exhibitor got visibly upset. He said "You knew that this was going to go for more than 3 hours. It's an all day thing. Are you really going to leave?" And I've never felt so insulted by an exhibitor, let alone anyone, at PAX. I told him yes, and walked away. However, seeing the reaction and how the exhibitors spoke quietly between each other after I had left, my friends felt obligated to stay and eventually leave the game by killing their characters. One friend had to leave with no warning because his bad leg was giving out.
I don't really have much more of a purpose to this post other than to share my experience. Maybe someone will see this and be able to address the issue more directly, but I'm also interested if anyone has had a similar experience with these people or other exhibitors and how you handled it.