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How Penny Arcade Manages PAX Ticket Sales—and Why Your Crazy Idea to Fix Them Won't Work

Thursday, June 11, 2015   (0 Comments)

GeekWire (05/12/15) Ellis, Tim

Tickets to the PAX Prime gaming convention sell out rapidly, and Penny Arcade's Robert Khoo says the primary problem is not enough room at PAX to accommodate the vast numbers of people who want to attend. He estimates demand for tickets can outstrip supply by a factor of five to 10. Penny Arcade's PAX ticketing system is frequently criticized as unfair, partly because it refuses to announce when tickets will go on sale ahead of time. However, Khoo defends this practice because it permits a much higher portion of badges to be sold to genuine fans instead of scalpers. Meanwhile, he says the phased release of tickets would do nothing to solve the demand versus supply problem, noting "all this would do is move badges from one group of folks to another while allowing the scalping groups to recover and regroup after each phase." Khoo also says a ticket lottery would benefit scalpers by lengthening the procurement window, and requiring photo IDs from purchasers for badge pick-up "would inconvenience 100 percent of attendees to solve a problem that impacts 1 percent of badges sold." He says reducing the number of tickets that can be bought at one time would inconvenience families and groups of friends. Khoo also maintains hiking the badge price to reach a supply/demand equilibrium would unfairly shut out fans who can only afford the current price.


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