COULDN’T SCORE A TICKET to the Penny Arcade Expo scheduled for August 26–28 at the Washington State Convention Center? Blame Halo. Geeks gobbled up passes for the country’s biggest gaming shindig in just weeks this year, thanks in part to a planned celebration of Xbox’s $2 billion franchise juggernaut that will include a preview of next year’s Halo 4. “We started [registration] a month later than we normally do and sold out two and a half months earlier than last year,” says Robert Khoo, a PAX organizer.

Demand was so high that $60 three-day passes were going for nearly $300 on eBay in June. “I hate that,” Khoo says. “We try to make it as inconvenient as possible for scalpers, but no solution is perfect.” Here’s to you, Master Chief.

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