Penny Arcade expands empire with new developer event

Interesting news this weekend from the team behind the ever-growing Penny Arcade Expo, better known as PAX: Building on the momentum from their perennially sold-out event in Seattle and their new installment in Boston, they’re adding a new conference to the lineup, specifically — and exclusively — for game developers.

The new PAX Dev 2011 will take place Aug. 24 and 25 in Seattle, just prior to the main PAX Prime convention, as the original Seattle event is now known. Here’s the description from their site …

A few years ago, a group of developers asked us to host an offsite gathering while they were in town for PAX. That idea took hold, and from those conversations we decided to dedicate the two days before PAX Prime to the developer community. We’re shooting for a small (750-ish), intimate setting where digital and pen/paper game developers alike can focus on their craft. No business. No press. Just sharing, learning and debate.

Will be interesting to see how they set the bar for inclusion in the “developer community.” As a kid I used an old PC magazine to program a custom altimeter control for Flight Sim on MS-DOS, does that count?

The growth of the original PAX raised questions about its potential to supplant the industry’s E3 video-game convention, but the two have managed to co-exist. In the same way, the new PAX Dev is likely to complement existing events such as the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, which has a sister event in Vancouver, B.C.

PAX is an outgrowth of the Seattle-based Penny Arcade webcomic, by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. By the way, registration is now open for this year’s PAX at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center, scheduled for Aug. 26-28.

Update: In a shift from past tradition, Microsoft is planning to hold its annual Gamefest industry conference in Seattle immediately before PAX Dev, on Aug. 22 and 23, perhaps hoping to capitalize on the influx of people for PAX.

[Via Sit Sam. Thanks to Isaac Alexander for the tip.]

  • Isaac Alexander

    I’m curious if any other official side events will start taking place before PAX. Will we see a private Nintendo event? How about an animators or composers gathering?