At a pre-PAX AUS “Welcome to Melbourne” event on Friday night, Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher commented in her keynote speech that PAX AUS 2014 attendee projections have skyrocketed, meaning a new, larger venue would be required for next year.
PAX AUS 2013 was held over last weekend at the Melbourne Showgrounds in Flemington. Tickets for the expo sold out back in March 2013, but PAX AUS organisers declined the opportunity to confirm how many tickets were on offer.
Neither Minister Asher nor PAX AUS would elaborate further on the 2014 venue change, though the only viable option seems to be the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
A potential venue change to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre — just beside the Crown Entertainment Complex in Southbank — would mean the expo would be based directly in the Melbourne CBD. Whilst a success, PAX AUS 2013’s Flemington-based location meant attendees were at the mercy of a public transport system plagued by cancelled and delayed trains that only ran to the Showgrounds at certain times of the day. The potential venue would also boast a main theatre that could accommodate over 5,000 people for its panels.
At the event, targeted at game developers and business and tourism heads, Minster Asher also said that the need for a larger venue means Melbourne would have to find more hotel rooms in order to house the additional attendees.
Minster Asher also praised PAX AUS not only for reinforcing Melbourne as the “creative centre of Australia,” but for bringing focus to the business side of the industry. “Games development is the fastest growing sector of the worldwide audio visual market, with the latest PwC Outlook report indicating that total global consumer spending on interactive games will expand from $61.5 billion in 2012 to $84.2 billion in 2017,” she said.
PAX AUS was confirmed in Melbourne for its 2013 and 2014 events back in October 2012. Dates — and obviously, a location — for the 2014 event have not yet been confirmed.
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