With this year's E3 rapidly approaching, I’m sure there are more than a few of you out there wishing you could teleport your way over to the US for a couple of days of hardcore gaming fun – meeting developers, checking out the biggest releases of the next year, hanging out with fellow gamers and just generally immersing yourself in all the gaming world has to offer.
Well, it looks like we might not be left drooling, empty-handed, over the US event for too much longer. EB Games has gone public with their plans to host the EB Games EXPO – billed as the ‘Biggest Gaming Event In Australian History’ – on the weekend of 15th October at the Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre.
According to Trent Weekes, EB Games National Events Manager, the Expo is an evolution of the company’s annual internal conference, which already attracts a whole stack of international talent – just opened up to the public. “We’re really excited that we are able to offer a gaming event of this scale in Australia which will give the gaming community a chance to get their hands on such high caliber playable code as we did internally last October with Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, Dragon Age and Duke Nukem to name a few,’ he said today.
The event will succeed or fail on the strength of the people it gets involved, but early response from gaming’s big names looks good. Edward Fong, MD of Ubisoft, calls it ‘a great initiative, and something that the Australian public has been asking for,’ while confirming that they will be giving gamers the opportunity to get their hands on Ubi’s biggest releases, well before they go on sale. EA’s Sales Director, Scott Mulholland, had similarly positive things to say, announcing that EA would be a ‘contributing supplier’ and calling the event a ‘first class showcase event of the world’s best video games.’
Tickets go on sale on June 2, and full event and exhibitor information will be released over the coming months, but already confirmed is the inaugural Australian final of the World Cyber Games(though we're not sure why it's 'inaugural - I think Atomic's attended quite a few of these events! -ed), as well as an arena spectacular featuring world-class freestyle motorcross (for those who like their spectator sports a little more likely to end in real-life faceplants). There will also be the usual Cosplay competitions and VIP events with even more exclusive access to next year’s biggest games. For news as it breaks, keep an eye on the official site here.
It looks like EB are sparing no expense on this project, and while we know they don’t necessarily always do right by us gamers, in this case, we wish them all the best. An Australian gaming event of this scale is long overdue, and if they can put together a good list of exhibitors, with enough perks for visitors, this would just be what we’ve all been hanging out for – without the need to visit the states.