Walk in to an exhibition floor full of booths, each themed around a game or product you get to try. Collect goodies from each exhibitor, and carry them home in the bag you were handed at the entrance. Find people dressed up as their favourite characters from a game. Participate in contests with friends and family. This is all just a glimpse of what the Indian Games Expo (IGX) has planned for Indian gamers next month. Gaming tournaments have been around for a long time and have a tendency to get violent, noisy and intimidating, not just for noobs but even for hardcore gamers. That isn’t something IGX wants to do. It wants to be a consumer-centric gaming exhibition that the gaming community in India will look forward to every year. But that’s not their only audience. They want anyone involved in this space — developer, artist, tester — to attend. For non-gamers to experience the excitement first-hand. To understand why people stay up all night trying to complete that one level they’ve been stuck on forever. To basically enjoy themselves for two days and find newer ways to pass time, unwind, de-stress. Attendees will have a chance to win competitions which, we assume, will be based on imprompto gaming battles or team events running through the day. The organisers aren’t trying to pull off an E3, but they are sure they’ll at least match the level of small-scale gaming conventions taking place in various countries.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Batman: Arkham Knight, Mad Max, Mortal Kombat x, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain & Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 are a few games you can expect to find at IGX this year, in addition to the likelihood of exclusive gaming hardware being on display as well.
The IGX organisers have been involved with the gaming industry for over 10 years. If you find yourself unable to relate to games from 2005, just remember that it was an exciting time to own a PC with a 512 MB graphic card and 1 GB of RAM back then. You could get really close to fighting a war with Call of Duty 2, be a part of the underground racing community with Need For Speed: Most Wanted or just play the Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones all by yourself. Since then, having visited the big gaming expos in the US and Germany, as well as the well-organised smaller ones in emerging markets (the Middle East, Russia, China) they realised that India has many tournaments but there are no consumer-focused ones that offer an experience across platforms. IGX has been in the works since November last year. The organisers started getting in touch with game publishers and developers to invite them to set up stalls at IGX around the time of the Gamescom 2015, held in August. The gaming companies’ reaction to the idea was positive while at the same time cautious. IGX is challenging the conventional formula of gaming events in the country. Even though companies are showing support in the form of participation and investments, most are just waiting to see the results. That makes the success of this year’s IGX essential for future sustainability. The team behind IGX is expecting a footfall of over 20,000 people visiting over a period of two days, a figure they hope will even be surpassed. This should mean that next year, IGX will have more companies itching to participate and invest in the event, making it bigger and more vibrant.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate from Ubisoft; Batman: Arkham Knight, Mad Max and Mortal Kombat x from Warner Bros.; Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 from Konami are a few games you can expect to find at IGX this year, in addition to the likelihood of exclusive gaming hardware being on display as well. Maybe we’ll even get some exciting announcements. VR gaming has been the centre of attention and might continue to be so at IGX in Mumbai this November. Online registrations should open as soon as the final date and venue are announced. Entry to IGX is free but attendees will need to register at the venue or online to beat the queues. Unlike the excruciatingly long loading time on games, IGX is only a few weeks away. So get cracking; there isn’t much time to book your tickets and register.
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