Penny Arcade Expo

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The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is an annual gaming show that is held in or around Seattle, Washington, each summer. The show is hosted by the creators of the popular online comic, Penny Arcade. ArenaNet has attended PAX for many years. Starting with a small booth in 2004, before the launch of the first Guild Wars campaign.


ArenaNet hosted the premiere giveaway of The Art of Guild Wars 2, with artists from the team signing copies of the book, and announced that it would come to sale in the near future.

There were also three Q&A sessions:

  • The first was an artist Q&A split into two groups. The first group featured Art Director Daniel Dociu and Concept Artists Richard Anderson and Jason Stokes (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4). The second group featured Kekai Kotaki, Matthew Barrett, and Kristen Perry (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).
  • The second Q&A session was about the upcoming first Guild Wars novel, at the time still titled Fall of Ascalon, and its lore, featuring author Matt Forebeck and design team members Will McDermott and Eric Flannum (Part 1 and Part 2).
  • The third Q&A was about the current state of the game with the live team, Lindsay Murdock, Robert Gee, Mike Zadorojny, and Joe Kimmes (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

The first teaser trailer was shown at the booth all weekend.


ArenaNet offered the first playable demo of Guild Wars 2, which had premiered a few weeks before at Gamescom, and organized other activities, such as a Dynamic Events Pannel (in which participants designed an event for the game), demo presentations, and the usual late night party. Many of the staff members were available at the NCSoft booth to chat with players.


This year had another demo of Guild Wars 2, this time showcasing 7 professions and playing as a Sylvari or Asura. They also offered a PvP tournament, with the best competing against devs. Guild Wars 2 also featured at the Logitech booth.


  • "The Guild Wars Live Game: From Inception to Live Update," featuring John Stumme (Live Team Lead Designer), Robert Gee (Designer), Andrew Patrick (Designer), Joe Kimmes (Programmer), Zach Nickerson (QA Staff), and John Foreman (QA Staff)
  • "The ArenaNet Community Team" featured Martin Kerstein (German Community Manager), Regina Buenaobra (Community Manager), and Stéphane Lo Presti (French Community Manager)
  • "ArenaNet Artists Review Your Portfolio" with Guild Wars 2 artists
  • "Character Art in Guild Wars 2: Creation and Iteration" with Kristen Perry and other Guild Wars 2 artists
  • "Supporting the Communities Within the Community" with Regina Buenaobra, Martin Kerstein, Andy Belford from City of Heroes Freedom, and Troy Hewitt from WildStar
  • "Breathing Life into a World: The Lore and Writing of Guild Wars 2" with Jeff Grubb (Lore and Continuity Designer), Ree Soesbee (Lore and Continuity Designer), Sean Ferguson (Writer), and Scott McGough (Writer)
  • "Guild Wars 2: Designing Dynamic Systems and Content" with Isaiah Cartwright (Systems Designer), Jon Peters (Systems Designer), Colin Johanson (Lead Content Designer), and Eric Flannum (Lead Designer)
  • "NCSOFT Writers' Round Table: You Want to Be a Game Writer? What're You, Nuts?" with Bobby Stein, John Hegner from City of Heroes Freedom, and Cory J. Herndon from WildStar
  • "Guild Wars 2: Designing a Cooperative Experience" with Eric Flannum (Lead Designer), Colin Johanson (Lead Content Designer), John Peters (Game Designer), Jeff Grubb (Lore and Continuity Designer), and Kristen Perry (Character Artist)

There was also an afterparty at their new studio.


With the imminent Guild Wars 2 release, ArenaNet decided to miss out at PAX, but organized a launch party in their headquarters instead.

2013: Anniversary Bash[edit]

In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Guild Wars 2 launch, ArenaNet organized an event, the Anniversary Bash, during PAX 2013 at the Renaissance Hotel. Fans could attend to celebrate the anniversary with the developers, or to play the Super Adventure Box: Back to School release for the first time. ArenaNet also announced the Tequatl Rising release, showing off the revamped Tequatl the Sunless and the new LFG tool. Later, there was a developer panel and the finals of the Guild Wars 2 Invitational tournament. Players attending the event received a code for Mini Mr. Sparkles, a Guild Wars 2 backpack bag, and bandana. There was a booth where players that offered testimonials were given a t-shirt.[verification requested] [1]


On August 29th, 2014, ArenaNet and partnered together to hold a Meet and Greet. They held merchandise raffles, gave away free Scarlet t-shirts, and provided food and drinks. They participated in a "Future of Online Gaming" Panel, where former Game Director Colin Johanson and other MMORPG industry veterans discussed where online games were headed and answered questions from fans. [2]


ArenaNet provided a look at the upcoming purchaseable expansion pack Heart of Thorns with the Guild Wars 2: Beyond the Point of No Return presentation at PAX South. The event took place January 24, 2015. The panelists were Mike O'Brien and Colin Johanson. Players who logged in during this time period (January 24th/25th) were given the Celebration Bonus.png Experience Bonus effect, which doubled experience gain.


PAX West panel:

  • "Go Behind the Sound of Video Games with ArenaNet" with Drew Cady (Audio Director)

During PAX West, ArenaNet held a Fifth Anniversary Party at the Hard Rock Café to fans to celebrate with developers and to talk about the impending launch of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire. The first 500 attendees were given a Path of Fire drawstring backpack containing: a Path of Fire concept art booklet, a Path of Fire pin, a Tattoo sleeve cloth, a raffle ticket and a Path of Fire lanyard.


ArenaNet brought their griffon statue, Bessie, to PAX East and PAX West.

PAX West panel:

  • "Live Oil Painting—Guild Wars 2" with Aaron Coberly (Art Director)

There were 2 parts to the booth at PAX West:

  1. A photo opportunity with the Bessie
  2. Two rows of computers where you could play a fractal as a party of 5. Participants were given a "Fractal Conqueror" sticker. Parties that were able to complete a Tier 4 fractal were also given a pin with the image a Guild Wars 1 skill. [verification requested] [3]


ArenaNet did not have a booth, but the Special Live Event on August 30, 2019 took place a few blocks on the first day. In-person attendees received a white Icebrood Saga nylon drawstring bag, a quaggan toy, commander pin, and a Ascended Aurene Clothing Outfit code.

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