The 5 biggest video game conventions you need to know about
Around 211 million people around the world are believed to regularly enjoy video games. For players, designers and programmers the chance to join together with likeminded enthusiasts is an opportunity that can’t be missed. Whether they’re into virtual reality accessories, the latest first-person shooter titles or mobile slot games, the prospect of hearing talks from industry leaders and trying out the latest innovations has turned video game conventions into some of the most hotly-anticipated annual events across the globe.
Tokyo Game Show
Held annually in Chiba, Japan, the Tokyo Game Show or TGS regularly draws in crowds of over 200,000 people. Since its launch in the mid-90s, the TGS has given Japanese programmers and developers a platform on which to show off their latest video game designs and innovations. A whole host of game publishers are invited to make their latest announcements or hold talks in the general exhibition area which is open to the public. However, the first two days of the convention are more exclusive and catered towards those looking for educational or career opportunities within the gaming industry.
Electronic Entertainment Expo
Arguably the biggest video game convention in the world, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (also known as e3), draws together the most famous names in video gaming across the planet. Every major production company holds a keynote speech here each year to showcase their plans and break their latest news. First launched in 1995 as an industry show it was recently opened up to the public. Tickets to attend the convention are in high demand as gamers battle it out to get hands-on experience with the latest titles and to hear speeches from their favorite programmers and developers. The event is held in the Los Angeles Convention Centre and sees crowds of around 70,000 people.
The annual exposition – which used to be called the Consumer Electronics Show – is aimed at tech lovers of all kinds. The trade convention, which is held at the Las Vegas Trade Centre attracts crowds of around 182,000, who gather to see the latest innovations in technology as a whole. While it doesn’t focus on gaming in particular, the convention brings together some of the finest engineering brains in the world. Gamers often make up a large proportion of the crowd thanks to vast array of products covered by the expo like the latest virtual reality headsets, PC accessories and a whole host of novel devices.
Held annually in Shanghai, ChinaJoy is the largest digital entertainment convention in Asia. Gamers are invited to try out the latest demos by the world’s biggest companies including EA and Sony, with crowds topping 80,000 visitors on its opening day alone last year. One of the most important aspects of the convention is that it’s widely aimed at encouraging new enterprises and business development. Many up-and-coming developers set up stalls in order to show-off their skills and attract financial backing from investors.
If you’re into video gaming then you’re sure to have heard of PAX. It’s a series of expositions and gaming festivals that take place all around America and Australia. Known as PAX West, East, South and Australia, the exhibitions are held annually in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio and Melbourne, bringing in crowds of over 80,000 people. The entire series of conventions, known as the Penny Arcade Expo, lets keen gamers from around the globe try out titles that are yet to hit the shelves. Focusing on everything from digital to arcade and table-top gaming, PAX conventions also regularly hold competitions to find the next big independent gaming titles.