PAX delivers for gaming developers
This was an RMIT hard news story assignment completed in my first-year studying a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism),
More than 80,000 gaming fanatics converged on Melbourne for the southern hemisphere’s biggest gaming convention on the weekend.
PAX Australia returned to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for the first time since the pandemic to provide a boost to the “thriving” local industry.
Head of Content and Partnerships Luke Lancaster said the three days of cosplay and gaming was the biggest of its kind in the country’s history.
“Even in our wildest dreams, we couldn't have imagined anything this big,” he said.
“The response from the community, from the fans - the vibe of it is like nothing else I've ever seen.”
Mr Lancaster said the event uses its platform to promote as much “excellent” local content as it can.
“We've got dozens if not hundreds of studios out of Melbourne, of varying sizes, ready to take over the world.
“And we've been really fortunate to be able to be the first place to show those games off to the world.”
Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos used the event to announce more than $5.25 million in funding for the local industry.
“Digital games are serious business in Victoria and one of the world’s fastest growing creative industries,” he said.
“This latest package continues our investment in the global success of our games sector and in local jobs.”
A $2 million commitment will see the expansion of Melbourne International Games Week in 2023 and 2024 which will benefit events such as PAX Aus.
Melbourne game developer Nicholas McDonnell said the benefit of the annual event is unmeasurable.
“PAX is a major morale boost for the team. It's so fun to see everyone here, playing the game, loving the game and getting feedback,” he said.
“From a commercial perspective, we get to meet publishers, press and it's just a very critical part of that year.”
A further $2.5 million will help establish more collaborative workspaces for game and business development in the CBD.
The three-day PAX event included keynote speeches from Head of Sony Indies Shuhei Yoshida and Australian gaming YouTuber Lazerbeam.
PAX Arena featured the country’s best esports teams competing in major gaming tournaments for live audiences.
A sea of cosplayers filled the main expo floor dressed as their favourite gaming and TV characters.
Mark Silvester said he had been working on his Spirit Blossom Kindred costume for a “couple of years”.
“I've been playing for 10 years and I'm a big fan of this character. I've got a tattoo of them on my arm and everything,” he said.
“I've been looking forward to this weekend for two years, because it hasn't been around for a while.”
Victoria is home to more than half of the country’s games studios and the weekend event is estimated to be worth $3.41 billion to the Australian economy.
“We like to do what we can to support the really robust and thriving industry in Melbourne,” Mr Lancaster said.