We've known for a while now that PAX Australia would be headed to Melbourne, but now it's official. For the next two years — 2013 and 2014 — PAX Australia will be held in Melbourne.
As we revealed earlier, the first event will take place at the Melbourne Showgrounds between July 19 and July 23.
Louise Asher, the Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business, said bringing the even to Melbourne was a "major coup".
"This is the first time the event has been held outside of the United States," she said.
"PAX is the world’s premier gaming festival and the decision to choose Melbourne to hold PAX Australia represents a fantastic opportunity to highlight Victoria’s creative capabilities on a global scale.
"This is a great opportunity to showcase the gaming culture in Australia to the rest of the world, while promoting the talented game developers and creative studios to an international audience.
"Events like this bring a huge number of interstate and international visitors to the Victoria, delivering significant economic benefits."
And Louise Asher is absolutely right — one of the greatest benefits of PAX being held in Australia is the fact many of our talented local developers will get the chance to show their games of to a global audience.
According to Robert Khoo, President of Penny Arcade, Melbourne's previous history of playing host to major gaming events was a major part of the reason the team wanted to bring PAX to Australia.
"When we reached out to our international fans, the response from the Australian community for a local PAX was overwhelming," he explained.
"Melbourne has a long history of supporting the gaming scene, through showcasing cultural game exhibits to supporting world renowned game developers.
"Holding PAX Australia in Melbourne is the perfect fit for our show."
Speaking to Guy Blomberg, PAX Australia's communications and content manager, it was always the plan to make PAX an annual shindig here in Australia. The event will take place in Melbourne for the next two years, but after that? There are no concrete plans as to where the event will be held.
"I think the focus right now is on seeing how the initial shows go," he said, "and see where things go from there!"
Guy confirmed that Mike and Jerry would be attending the show, as you might expect, and said that — although nothing is confirmed at this stage — there might be other mini-events scheduled around the Expo.
Stay tuned to PAX Australia's official website for more info.