The first east coast Penny Arcade Expo was announced during PAX 08 in Seattle, WA. After a year and a half of officially waiting, the Hynes Convention Center kicked off the first PAX East on March 26, 2010 with a passionate keynote address by none other than Wil Wheaton. While originally expected to attract a smaller audience than PAX Prime, PAX East sold out of three day passes nearly two months ahead of time. Though the Hynes is a smaller venue than the Washington State Convention Center, the inaugural PAX East offered a myriad of gaming options for attendees.
The first floor of the convention center is where attendees were greeted by the ominous beast known only as the Queue Room. This warehouse sized waiting area is well-known by those who've been to PAX Prime, as it acts a staging area for attendees to line up prior to the show and also for the larger events in the main theater each day. Just outside the Queue Room was the PAX Merch Stand selling PAX 09 DVD's, Penny Arcade's new book, t-shirts, and the exclusive PAX East scarfs. Across the hall from the merch was Harmonix's Rock Band Lounge which featured long lines of attendees waiting to play Rock Band 2 or Green Day: Rock Band on stage with their friends. The first level was also home to various table top gaming areas.
The second floor was where most of the action was at PAX East. Both the Main Theater and the Expo Hall could be found here. All the major events such as the keynote, Gabe & Tycho Q&A, concerts, and Omegathon finale took place in the main theater. Just outside the theater was Band Land, a place for attendees to meet the various bands playing Friday and Saturday night as well as other people such as Wil Wheaton, Bill Amend, and Scott Kurtz. Dozens of exhibitors filled the expo hall, offering attendees a first look at games like Microsoft's Crackdown 2, Electronic Arts' APB and Skate 3, The Behemoth's Battleblock Theater, Twisted Pixel's Comic Jumper, Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption, 2K Games' Mafia II, Klei Entertainment's Shank, Uber Entertainment's Monday Night Combat, and many others. On the east end of the second level was Naga Theatre, the smallest of the venues for panels. Across from the Expo Hall were several rooms dedicated to all things Wizards of the Coast and table top gaming. And along the north wall of the Hynes was the first of two Handheld Lounges featuring hundreds of Sumo beanbag chairs.
The third floor had quite a number of sites to see as well. First off all, there was the Main Theatre balcony, giving attendees the option to view the major events without having to remain standing. On the south end was Manticore Theatre, which was the largest of the three rooms for the various panels held throughout the weekend. Just next door was a large hall for those who fancy themselves PC gamers. Many had registered ahead of time to bring their own rig, while the other half of the hall was dedicated to freeplay and tournaments. Out and around the corner from the PC area were the Console Freeplay rooms featuring a library of games and consoles available to check out like a library. One of the most talked about parts of this area was the Steel Battalion room. Along the south wall of the third level are towering windows looking across the city, and lining those windows were hundreds of Sumo chairs that created the second Handheld Lounge of the show. In the east wing were the Classic Arcade, Classic Console room, and the Wyvern Theatre for panels.
The Omegathon is an annual tournament held at PAX that pits 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. Being the inaugural PAX East, things were a bit different for the Omegathon. This time 32 participants were selected and randomly placed in teams of two. The Omeganauts would remain paired for the duration of the tournament.
The finals pitted the two remaining teams in not one, two, or even three challenging games. A gauntlet of four mystery games awaited the Omeganauts, each with a goal that had to be met before the next game would be revealed and culminating with a co-op game. The winning team was awarded a trip to Leipzig for Gamescom.
- The Protomen
- Metroid Metal
- MC Frontalot
2010 Boston Indie Showcase
At PAX Prime, the focus on indie games is known simply as The PAX 10. For PAX East, the staff of Penny Arcade selected six titles from the many submissions that were received.
- As of February 3, 2010, 3-Day passes for PAX East sold out.
- As of March 19, 2010, PAX East completely sold out.