The annual Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle drew a record turnout last weekend, with a total of 60,750 people in attendance. According to Big Download's recent chat with Penny Arcade's Robert Khoo, this year's turnout was only a couple thousand more than last year's 58,500 attendees...But as the story points out, tickets were purposely limited in advance this year because PAX organizers weren't comfortable that they would be able to safely accommodate a larger number of attendees at the venue (Washington State Convention and Trade Center). Considering that tickets sold out by the time the expo began (and that an additional 1000 single-day tickets sold out shortly after they went on sale), it's safe to speculate that attendance could have been even higher, if Penny Arcade has the venue to support it.
And next year, they might have that venue. The website reports Khoo's remark; "[...] he told us that next year they hope to allow more people to attend the show due to some expansion plans that are taking shape around the convention center." The Penny Arcade community has come a long way since its early days as a gamer-themed webcomic and site; the first PAX took place back in 2004, with just a tad more than 3000 attendees. In the coming years, that number could potentially approach 100,000 if the current pattern continues. Next year also marks the first time Penny Arcade will host a second expo, outside of Seattle: PAX East is planned for Boston, Mass. from March 26-28, 2010.
To read all of our coverage from PAX last weekend (which includes some great interviews), click here and tell us what you think in the comments section. You'll also want to take a look at our first annual PAX Awards 2009, a new ZAM.com feature rounding up the best the expo had to offer, according to our on-site reporting team.