Australia is said to have its own version of E3 in the form of eGames – an annual video game convention held in Melbourne, Victoria. I managed to get down there for this years event, and see whether it really was that big.
Held in the Royal Exhibition Building (in Carlton – a suburb of Melbourne) eGames was part of iDEF (International Digital Entertainment Festival) which also featured the Digital Lifestyle Show and Develop (a skills and careers expo) all of which ran from October 30th to November 1st. I was there for the games, however I did find Jackie Chan in the DLS!
When I walked in on the first day I found the Namco Bandai booth which was promoting their Formula 1 game. They’d even gotten themselves a shiny racing car to appear at the booth as well.
Behind them were Microsoft who were showing off THEIR racing game “Forza 3” on the Xbox.I was itching to ask the PR about the recent controversy involving the game. I was so good though and left it alone.
Turning left into the heart of eGames I was greeted by the Planet Calypso MMO and 2K Australia on my left, and my friends from Madman Interactive on the right. 2K Australia were incredibly popular on both days I visited, but it’s no surprise considering they were showing off Borderlands! They also had NBA 2K10 on show which was getting a good amount of attention.
Madman had their usual Anime/Manga stall going on, but behind that they certainly showed they had some impressive titles available for us gamers. They’ve only recently started to venture into games, with Disney Interactive becoming a big notch in their belt. On display they had Disney Sing It Pop Hits, Toy Story Mania, Spectrobes: Origins, The Princess and the Frog, and Divinity II Ego Draconis – to name a few.
In the middle of the room there was a huge Ubisoft booth which was showing off a ton of games, as well as giving away some posters. At some point they decided to get people to sign up to their newsletter before they handed over the posters – which I found a little odd but it didn’t deter too many of the patrons. Anyway, the big games they had on display were Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction, Assassin’s Creed II, and James Cameron’s Avatar. They were showing Avatar in a little side room and you were handed a pair of 3D glasses to watch the game in action. All I can say is that I imagine Avatar will be on a lot of peoples wishlists – and ditto for Assassin’s Creed II judging by how popular it was.
Walking around the left side of Ubisoft, there were universities, training institutions and game-related shopping booths. As I passed the Ubisoft booth (and the crowd formed for ACII), I found the AFA Interactive booth which was showing off A Boy and his Blob and Fairytale Fights. I now see the reason why some of the GA staff have been excitedly drooling over the latter, and I now want it too!
A little further away from AFA was the main stage where many competitions, discussions, podcasts and webcasts were held. Unfortunately the venue didn’t really allow for decent attendance on some of the items that took place, with the sound being drowned out by the crowds or the nearby eSports event.
Speaking of eSports, their event was held on the other side of the room. They appeared to have 2 teams competing against each other on a PC FPS game. Sadly, it didn’t hold my interest for very long. Right next door to them were my new friends from AustralianGamer. They had a casual kindof environment happening with a TV and console set up so visitors could hang out with the AG staff and their friends for a bit.
Next to them were a bunch of competition booths and LAN tournaments taking place with a couple of gaming hardware booths mixed in.
Apart from the disappointing fact that there were a few significant game companies/devs/distributors missing from this years event, eGames 2009 was a lot of fun. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I said meeting the AG crew was the highlight. While this is true, my other favourite memories will include chilling with a Rabbid for 5 seconds and the amount of ladies I saw in attendance. Oh, and there was a gamers meet-up night hosted by AG as well which I suppose wasn’t too bad. (Just kidding!)
Thank you to all of the organisers and exhibitors that I came across – I had a great time! See you all next year!
More pictures? Yep, sure: