It appears the East Coast has an annual gaming mega-convention to call its own, as the Penny Arcade Expo East officially locks into Boston for two years. The wildly successful inaugural year had an estimated 60,000 attendees (twice the number originally planned for), which has led organizers to move the show from the Hynes Convention Center to the much larger Boston Convention & Exhibition Center for 2011 and 2012. Although the extra space will be welcomed by publishers and attendees, the other convention center is inconveniently located (especially by Boston standards) down by the harbor. While the Hynes, which is located downtown by Copley, may have been a little cramped, it's surrounded by shops and restaurants for meetups.
Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik told Joystiq, "We had assumed we would be in [the Hynes] for what? Three years, I think? That was our initial idea. And already this will be our only year here. We have to move it next year."
It'll be interesting to see how publishers treat PAX East in 2011. With no other major show in the first half of the year except for the Game Developers Conference, which attendees have complained for years has lost its way by having a larger media presence, PAX East could be the new place to make announcements. Especially if this year-round major game release calendar we've seen in 2010 becomes permanent.
Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins spoke about PAX East's place in the industry and the recent occurrence of major releases outside the fourth quarter saying, "I think the problem is [publishers] never had a place to promote those releases, and if they're given a place to promote those releases – this is what [Penny Arcade's business guru] Robert [Khoo] has heard when he talks to the people he talks to to get the show going – they need a place that can attract you and can attract the people who play games ... enthusiasts in general, not industry observers."