PAX and Present

Conventions, hallmarks of fan-based culture since their inception more than two decades ago, have long-served as a place where fans of anything considered “geeky, nerdy and weeby” can get together and showcase their creative skills, their passions for a genre and excitement for the future of our culture. There are a place not just to totally lose our minds together over our favorite animes, games and nerd culture, but as an inviting place to connect with friends and meet new ones. Conventions are not just a hub for the industry, but of the community as a meeting place where far-flung internet friends can come together and bask in a collective aura of shared passion. Truly there's a magic to conventions.


But as with many things this year, Covid has taken many of the greats from us. Most noticeably in the industry, the loss of E3 which was entirely cancelled for 2020 along with the withdrawal of giants in the industry such as Sony, Capcom and Square Enix from PAX East. This weekend we would have been with you at PAX West, among the many throngs of excited and eager fans, sharing in the thrill of experiencing the next big game, meeting developers, and just goofing around with friends. But this year we will have to settle with experiencing PAX from afar, online, watching from screens as we cheer on those who continue to produce things for those who love them. PAX Online promises a new and intriguing take on making the best out of an unfortunate situation as they move online in September. While, yes, this is a sad time. A hard time, undoubtedly, for cosplayers, independent artists and businesses, industry professionals and more. But instead of mourning the loss of the pulsating excitement of a convention atmosphere, and seeing all your smiling faces, we wanted to look back on our past and share with you the things we loved most about conventions, especially PAX West.

PAX West, previously known as PAX Prime until 2015, found its footholds as a forerunner in the industry in 2004 where it rapidly tripled in size three years in a row until breaching its massive numbers seen today. Founded right here in our home state of Washington, the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) wasted no time in expanding beyond LAN-based tournaments and other smaller events, and the gaming world didn’t take long to notice.  Sanshee found its way among those hallowed walls for the first time in 2011, one year after the company's conception. The West Coast is known for its powerhouse centers in the gaming industry, including Blizzard Entertainment, Valve and Bungie, and some of our license partners such as Electronic Arts, ATLUS West, Square Enix, Inc. and more.

“I remember the first PAX I ever attended, PAX EAST 2010. I know the slogan for PAX is ‘Welcome Home’ and as sappy as that is, it’s entirely true. I never thought I could feel so at home in a crowd that big, but I did. Every fan I talked to felt like a friend I’d known for years, sharing in the joy and excitement of being in a place designed just for us and the things that we loved. I miss it dearly, and I look forward to going back just as soon as we can…” - Hovsep, Digital Marketer

"My favorite aspect of conventions is the energy that I feel from all the attendees. Conventions are events that so many people look forward to throughout the year: the chance for them to see distant friends (and make new ones), to dress the way they want, and be themselves without the judgment of others. Conventions are a  celebration of like-minded people gathering together and having a great time. 

While it's been a while since I've actually walked around and participated as an attendee, I have just as much fun at my artist alley table. I meet dozens of wonderful, excited fans and have great conversations about what we've been watching or playing, what we love, and sometimes we even have some deep conversations about life in general. 

When I'm at a convention, a part of me feels very much at home. Knowing that I'm surrounded by like-minded individuals, all gathered together in one place to enjoy the same things - it almost feels like I'm at a family reunion, hanging out with my people. 

It's been a tough year for everyone, and I for one am very much looking forward to when conventions will return and be safe to attend, so we can all have fun together again." - Jeannie, Lead Artist
"Exhibiting at PAX is like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, and 7 birthdays all tied together with snakes. The entire 5 block radius around the convention just bristles with excitement and good will; it's intoxicating. Everyone's just so friendly and enthusiastic and it's a delight talking with the people who visit our booth. PAX is as much about reuniting with cherished friends, hanging out, and making new ones, as it is about video games. I miss it and everyone dearly." - Arty, Founder


Though we may not be there with you in body, we are there with our many fellow fans and supporters in spirit. Join in with us for this celebration of days gone by with our week-long PAX West sale! Get 20% off any order over $40 using the code #PAX2020 at checkout. Don't forget to also follow us on Twitter and Instagram as we launch new and returning products this week.



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