Amid the surprisingly cold weather and lingering ice surrounding Boston's PAX East last weekend, one could see how the tenor of the show has changed over the years. At PAX East 2012, games from independent developers were relegated to a single Indie Megabooth, dwarfed by the big-name competition surrounding it. While that booth returned for 2017, the rest of the PAX show floor now seems like an outgrowth of the same idea. Dozens of indie developers outright purchased their own small tables to show off single games, while larger indie publishers like Tiny Build and Devolver Digital continue to host massive booths that rival their big-budget competitors.
Those major publishers were still at PAX East, of course, but they seemed to have less impact this year. Bethesda showed off the first playable demo of Quake Champions ahead of its upcoming beta test, and the game felt like an extension of their recent, successful Doom remake. Nintendo drew long lines for gamers eager to try out the Switch, even though many attendees already had the system in tow to make the other long lines at the show more bearable. All in all, though, the big boys seem to be ceding space at the show to tiny upstarts eager to reach their potential audience directly.
from Gallery: The costumes and sights of PAX East 2017