What I Love About Expos
So Eurogamer Expo 2012 has come and gone. The 4-day event held at Earl’s Court in London was a rip-roaring success with the highest attendance of all Eurogamers to date. I booked my tickets the day they were released so had been looking forward to this event for some few months. I was there from Friday-Saturday and for some reason this year was just so much better than the last for me. I bloody loved my two days there and here are a few reasons why:
The 18+ section is nothing new to Eurogamer, but it’s one of the features that made this year’s expo more enjoyable. Was it because Virgin girls skiped around wearing next to nothing? No, and that’s an argument for another day. This years 18+ section was perhaps twice as large as last year; there were more ‘adult’ titles which suits me down to the ground as this means no kids. While I have nothing against children under 18, they make up a large proportion of attendants (especially on weekends), so being able to play games and queue without tripping over some tiny feet is a big plus for me.
Writing for TheGameJar, I had the luxury of doing an interview with OnLive and being able to chill in the Press Area. This is a right only reserved for a small percentage of attendants and at an event where 50,000 geeks (I use the term as a compliment being one myself) being able to access the press area is like being royalty and the ultimate coolness. Well that’s what I think. People walk by and peer in thinking ‘ooo I wonder what goes on in there’, whilst I think ‘That’s right, I have no idea either’. In essence there is nothing special to the press area; it usually just means a bunch of hard work and planning go into arranging interviews, sorting equipment and plucking up the courage to go on camera. But to me, it is just great.
Hats off have to go to Eurogamer for putting on another awesome show. What a lot of people don’t realise is that Eurogamer isn’t essentially just the name of the event thought up by some genius gaming minds. It’s the name of a company and a bunch of guys who came up with the idea to put on a show where UK gaming fanatics could come and try the wears of future games – bringing the UK its very own E3. They do a splendid job. This year more than ever it must have been a struggle to fit everything in, yet I could not find one thing to complain about – apart from the toilets though… that’s more an Earl’s Court issue than fault of Eurogamer. There were a fantastic number of games on display, enough space to walk without smelling the person next to you, competitions, charities and sponsors alike – the event was a great success.
The Indie Arcade
This year saw the most Indie games on display by far compared to previous years, as Eurogamer has become a great platform for mobile and relatively small scale developers to make more people aware of their games. This is great, as a lot of the games are a load of fun. What makes the Indie Arcade so good is that a lot of the game developers are there to talk you through their hard work. There are very small queues if any to play the games so you can wander from iPad to Galaxy tab, picking up a new game as quickly as you like. This year some fantastic games were on display and more so than in years gone by people went away thinking that some of these were their favourite game at the show, not just your usual AAA titles.
It’s probably the Number 1 reason most of us buy tickets in the first place. Eurogamer Expo is just THE best event in the UK to play a host of games scheduled for release over the coming months. This year’s collection available to play was fantastic, with all the big boys and smaller titles and everything in between. It’s a great opportunity to make those who didn’t attend jealous and to try your hand at games you hadn’t heard of or thought were diabolical and have your mind changed by 20 minutes of gameplay. Of course there are those games you expect to be good and then find yourself a little underwhelmed after playing, but hey you just saved yourself £40!
Perhaps the best thing about Eurogamer Expo is that it’s a place for like-minded video game lovers to come together in one place and share in a bunch of great experiences. This year I took along a friend who hadn’t been before and had not even heard of the event until I bought him the tickets – it was great to see just how much he enjoyed it. Personally I don’t have many close friends who are as enthused about games as I am (give me a hug next time you see me) so I often turn to Twitter to talk to people about various gaming issues. It was great when I was able to meet some of these people at Eurogamer. Of course it was also an opportunity to meet up with fellow GameJar writers who I hadn’t met before whilst seeing a few not so old faces too.
What did you like most about this year’s Eurogamer Expo? New games? Cosplay? Booth Babes? Dev Sessions? Indie Arcade? Let us know!