The eighth-annual Penny Arcade Expo, also known as PAX, is under way at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. For three days, hundreds of video game producers are showing off their latest creations to a huge group of consumers.

For the last few years running, the biggest releases on a gaming front have surpassed the biggest box-office sales, explained Kevin Grace from Kirkland-based 343 Industries.

Grace s company is releasing the much anticipated Halo 4 in November and is using PAX Seattle to introduce the game to the fans.

Video games are doing very big business right now, Grace added.

In 2010, the video game industry raked in more than $25 billion. Many of the biggest games are made in the Northwest. Companies like Nintendo, Valve and Big Fish make the Seattle-area second only to San Francisco for video game creation.

The gaming universe is everywhere, said Grace, We ve got a generation of people now where there s always been gaming for them.

Seattle-based Big Fish makes Internet and smart phone games. It made $180 million in 2010, a 30% increase.

Seattle s a great scene, said Shawn Seavers from Big Fish, There s a lot of companies.

PAX Seattle runs until Sunday. Next year, there are plans to expand the convention to four days.

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