PAX was created by the authors of the Penny Arcade webcomic dedicated to video games and video game culture. The first PAX event (later named PAX Prime and then renamed to PAX West) was held in 2004 in Bellevue, WA. Seeing the increasing popularity of the event, the team decided to organize another event exclusive to the game developer community. PAX Dev is intended as a place where game developers and publishers can share their opinions and experiences, debate and learn in a comfortable environment.
The first PAX Dev was held in Seattle on August 24 and 25, 2011. It took place two days prior to the main event, PAX Prime. The festival drew about 750 attendees, all of whom are involved in game development. Since then, PAX Dev has been held annually, two days before PAX West (known as PAX Prime up to 2016).
PAX Dev is an event designed exclusively for game developers, publishes and other representatives of the gaming industry. Press and media are not allowed to attend the event because attendees often discuss exclusive insider information that they are not ready to share with a wide audience yet.
PAX Dev programming is serious rather than entertaining. It includes lectures, panels, discussions, workshops and other events dedicated to the game development and the gaming industry in general. Every year the organizers invite speakers who represent large companies such as Google, PopCap Games, Bungie, Wizards of the Coast, Riot Games as well as independent developers.