October 2nd, 2012 | By Mark Isaacson
One of the dreams I had growing up with video games was to visit E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a part of the biggest event in the industry, where surprises and big names are there for all to see? Unfortunately as dreams go, they aren’t always that easy to attain in real life (I live a long, long way away, for example). So imagine my delight to see EB Games, the Australian division of GameStop, create the next best thing in the EBExpo. It’s a chance for Australian gamers to get in on the act and get some hands on time with the biggest names, and I’m going to be there!
This is the expo’s second year in action, shifting from last years debut in Brisbane to Sydney this time around. It brings with it a host of massive titles that everyone can’t wait to get stuck into, familiar faces such as Assassin’s Creed III and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, many of which are playable for the first time anywhere. But there’s another new element to the expo’s schedule that has me far more excited, one that I’m sure many of you will be keen to know about.
The Home Grown Gaming exhibit, which has its own area within the rather large and well planned out Olympic Park (former home of the Sydney 2000 Olympics), will play host to a number of local Australian talent in both software and hardware development. Not only will it act as a showcase, but it could very well open the eyes of many gamers who are yet to taste the indie gaming world.
Many of these companies you may not have heard of, but soon you will know all about them. Take Blunt Instrument for example, a small studio based in Sydney who are working on two soon to be released mobile and PC titles, Missile Control and Ignite The Skies. Or Epiphany Games, who are hard at work on the ambitious RTS Frozen Hearth, the first part of an expansive and ongoing series. That’s just two of many hard working and respected studios who will be at the show, mixing it up with the likes of Nintendo, Sony, Electronic Arts and Activision.
The exhibit will also play host to a number of e-sports events and the opportunity for local fans to check out some of the newest gaming hardware developed down under as well up and coming items of worth. But the chance for new and young developers to show off their work will be of special interest, especially with a sell out crowd of near 17,000 (and counting) over three days of action.
As a fan, a gamer and a lover of all things indie, you can be sure I’ll be there taking it all in and meeting some of the talented artists and devs right in my own back yard. I’ll be getting the lowdown from all of them, so you’d better keep it logged to IGM as the event kicks off this weekend!