Well, we’ve all officially made it home from PAX East 2018. It was an exciting and captivating convention – my first ever! I handled some appointments for Good Shepherd, who were showcasing Phantom Doctrine, Semblance, and Black Future ’88. All three games were a hit with press and consumers, which made my job easy! Below are some of my other takeaways from the weekend:
Esports Drew Huge Crowds
Not only was the esports presence strong at the show, but the crowds were immense. People lined up into the walkways to catch the action, leading to a frenzy around the arena. The interest was evident for all kinds of games and genres, as it was nearly impossible to find a seat for Fortnite, Hearthstone, or the eMLS Cup (FIFA). The presentation of all these tournaments was fantastic, with broadcasters, crazy lights, and props given away to fans. Everyone with a seat at the eMLS Cup was given inflatable thundersticks, giving goal celebrations the feel of being at an actual soccer stadium.
Streamers Were Everywhere
Streamers were everywhere at PAX East, producing an abundance of content throughout the convention. Walking around the expo hall you’d see games like PUBG and Fortnite being livestreamed, and IRL streamers capturing every minute of their experience at the show. Shacknews, located in the booth next to us, were live from 10-6 everyday, interviewing developers and livestreaming their games.
One of the stories of PAX East 2018 was the remarkable indie presence. Even aside from the Indie Megabooth and PAX Rising, it seemed that indie titles were everywhere, and many of them were generating quite a bit of buzz. A lack of new AAA titles allowed indie games like SCUM and Phantom Doctrine to generate long lines all day throughout the weekend. Virtual reality games were prevalent as well. I had the opportunity to try Pixel Ripped 1989, a game that integrated a side-scrolling platformer in a VR setting. The game was a blast, and it made me reconsider what to expect from a virtual reality experience.
My first PAX was a successful one in my eyes, although by the end of Day 4 my legs were certainly in need of a rest. I met some great folks around the industry, and I’m looking forward to my next con! – Dan