PAX 09 was the first year of the show that took advantage of the entirety of the Washington State Convention & Trade Center. Despite increasing the square footage of the show by a significant amount, PAX 09 was also the first year of the show to completely sell out prior to the first day. A small amount of tickets were later made available for the second and third day, presumably due to people not showing up after pre-registering. The events of the show also started a bit earlier than in previous years, as the doors officially opened at 10:00 AM on Friday, rather than 2:00 PM as in 2008. This year's show unofficially began with a keynote speech from Ron Gilbert.
Levels 2 and 3 of the venue were almost completely devoted to tabletop and card games this year. On the second floor there was also a Rock Band Freeplay stage and one of the various handheld gaming freeplay areas featuring dozens of Sumo chairs. The third level had more tabletop gaming, another handheld freeplay area, a LucasArts Cantina, and the Raven Theatre.
On Level 4, the Exhibit Hall increased in size as it extended from the main hall across the skybridge and into what was previously the PC Area. No single exhibitor dominated the show floor in terms of size in the way that attendees see at E3. And the hall was a great mix of video games, card games, and vendors. Microsoft's booth featured cockpit Forza 3 demos, Live Arcade games, and seating areas for four player Halo 3 ODST. Sony crammed over a dozen new products into their booth including God of War III, Uncharted 2, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, White Knight Chronicles, Heavy Rain, LittleBigPlanet PSP, MotorStorm Arctic Edge, and the PSP Go. Nintendo came to the show with a mix of new and unreleased games including Wii Sports Resort, Metroid Prime Trilogy, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, and Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Other notable titles on the exhibit hall's floor were Harmonix's The Beatles: Rock Band; 2K Games' Borderlands; Bethesda's Brink, WET, and Rogue Warrior; Capcom's Tatsunoko vs Capcom; NCsoft's Guild Wars 2 and Aion; THQ's Darksiders; EA's Mass Effect 2, Brutal Legend, Need for Speed: Shift, Dante's Inferno, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Dragon Age, and The Saboteur; Namco's Tekken 6; Valve's Left 4 Dead 2; WB Games' Scribblenauts; Disney's Split/Second; and Blizzard's Diablo III, StarCraft II, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
Also on Level 4 was the PAX Merch stand and Band Land, which had been moved to just outside the Main Theatre. Band Land allows attendees to meet all of the musical acts of the show, purchase their wares, and get autographs. Even though it is called Band Land, other special guests could often be found there including Wil Wheaton, Scott Kurtz, and Bill Amend. The Main Theatre housed all of the biggest panels including the Ron Gilbert keynote, Penny Arcade Q&A with Gabe and Tycho, first live demos of Star Wars: The Old Republic, live demo of Assassin's Creed II and Splinter Cell: Conviction, and the Friday/Saturday night concerts featuring Metroid Metal, Anamanaguchi, MC Frontalot, Freezepop, Paul & Storm, and Jonathan Coulton. Equal in size to the Main Theatre is the Queue Room, which is exactly what its name says. It's simply a massive room for the purpose of waiting in line for the show to open or for major events in the Main Theatre.
On Level 6 were the Unicorn, Serpent, and Wolfman Theatres for dozens of panels that took place over the weekend. Also on this level were massive rooms housing the Console Freeplay area featuring a library of available games and systems to check out, and the PC Area for freeplay, tournaments, and BYOC.
PAX 09 ended with the Omegathon Finals, which featured a duel to the death over a game of Skeeball. The final count for PAX 09 attendance was 60,750.
GIant Bomb @ PAX 09
- Giant Bomb Re-Reunion Tour: Tour Legit Tour Quit
The Omegathon is an annual tournament held at PAX that pits 20 randomly selected attendees in a three day marathon of games that span the spectrum of the gaming universe. After each round, some participants are eliminated. Each year, the final game is held secret until moments before the final two Omeganauts enter battle.
At this years event, Jerry "Tycho" Holkins and Mike "Gabe" Krahulik decided to put the final two Omeganauts into an arena yet unseen in the history of the Omegathon...the arcade. As the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey played, the anticipation mounted until finally it was revealed what arcade title the two finalists would face each other. Best of five rounds in Skee Ball.
The PAX 10
Over 150 indie games were submitted for review by a panel of industry professionals (and Gabe and Tycho). The cream of the crop were selected to be showcased on the show floor as part of the second annual PAX 10.
CarneyVale / Fieldrunners CarneyVale: Showtime
Puzzle Bloom / Liight Liight
- Developer: Studio Walljump
- Platform: Wii
- Genre: Puzzle
- Developer: Hemisphere Games
- Platform: PC
- Genre: Puzzle Physics
Osmos / TagPuzzle Bloom
- Developer: Team Shotgun as a part of the Danish
- Platform: PC
- Genre: Action Puzzle
Tag: The Power of Paint
- Developer: TrinoTeam
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Genre: Puzzle Shooter
What is Bothering Carl?
- Developer: Story Fort
- Platform: PC
- Genre: Interactive Children's Book
PAX 09 SWAG