PopCap at PAX Prime 2011!

Well, kids, PAX Prime has come and gone already, and, as much as we loved it (and we did) we’re not too sorry it’s over. Why? Because it is EXHAUSTING! Who knew that playing games and being surrounded by gamers would be so much work! Next year we need to go to a tax accountant or funeral home convention instead so we can relax and have fun.

Here is the big problem with PAX: There is too much great stuff going on all the time, and not nearly enough time in which to do it all. There are console, PC, and tabletop freeplay rooms to play games in; awesome panels to attend; upcoming games to check out; people to meet and hang out with; tournaments to watch, and more. Just to check out some of the more popular video games on the showroom floor required waiting in line for over 4 hours.  That’s about 3 hours and 58 minutes longer than we like to wait for anything, which is why our microwaved burritos always end up cold in the middle.

Anyway, we had an awesome time at PAX! Did we say that already? The weather here in Seattle over the weekend was phenomenal, and seeing the streets filled with hordes of costumed gamers and other fellow geeks warmed our hearts immensely. There’s something about seeing a Pikachu, Ewok, and Mario walking down the sidewalk together and not drawing a second glance that just fills us with serious geek pride. We’ve come a long way, baby!

Fans dressed up as PvZ plants!

PopCap did not have a dedicated booth at the show, but what we did have turned out to be popular way beyond our own calculations: PvZ-branded Blinky sunglasses!  We thought we had allotted enough for all three days of the convention, but they were all gone by 1 pm on Saturday, the second day. Whoops! Never underestimate the power of bling. This was the lesson we learned. If you were at PAX and didn’t get a pair, we apologize! But look for them to make a reappearance again down the line. They shall return!

Our other contribution to PAX was the first-ever appearance of our Zombie Disco Dancers, who roamed the convention, both inside and out, and put on a truly spectacular show, including what is probably the best break dancing ever performed by the undead. In addition to their choreographed routine (to undead-inappropriate tunes like “I Will Survive” and “Stayin’ Alive”), the zombies also made special guest appearances on both the Dance Central and Just Dance stages, and even invaded Microsoft’s Halo Fest!

In truth, the zombies, underneath those giant masks and costumes, were a professional, award-winning dance troupe who danced themselves crazy for three days straight under the most arduous conditions (you try dancing with a giant head on in 80 degree weather, surrounded by 70,000 sweaty gamers!), and went the extra mile to entertain the folks around, all without even being able to sip water except for during a few breaks a day. We cannot thank them enough!

Finally, we closed out the show with a super-fun party for PopCap fans at the Hard Rock Cafe on Sunday afternoon, where three lucky fans won iPad 2s for their skills in our Bejeweled Blitz tournament! There may have been more crowded parties at PAX this weekend, but we don’t know any other party that had dancing zombies, free iPads, and the nicest and coolest fans in the world in attendance, so we’re gonna go ahead and say that we won!

Thanks to everyone who came up and said hi, clapped or laughed for the zombies, or just attended PAX at all, even if we didn’t see you. You’re the folks we do this job for. We couldn’t be luckier.


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