20% more visitors from 25 countries at GameStart 2017; Record attendance and engagement in the biggest South East Asia Major to date; Thought-provoking discussions at the Inaugural SEA Summit
GameStart Asia is Singapore’s largest gaming event and has gained reputation as a premier gaming convention in Southeast Asia since its debut in 2014. The convention seeks to bring everything gaming-related to audiences in Asia. In addition to triple A games and exclusives, GameStart also supports the local gaming and pop culture communities, from cosplay to indie developers and artists. In 2017, the event has expanded into the B2B arena, organising the inaugural SEA Summit business conference, in partnership with the International Mobile Gaming Awards.
GameStart 2017 concluded with resounding success. Held on 14 & 15 October at Suntec Convention Centre, GameStart 2017 welcomed a record 24,000 local and overseas visitors, a 20% increase from last year. The event’s official live stream, which was broadcast on Twitch and Facebook Live, saw online views of over 80,000. The inaugural SEA Summit business conference concluded successfully on 12 and 13 October, with gaming scene insights from 46 industry experts.
Over 24,000 attendees from 25 countries
The Cyberpunk-themed showfloor spanned three halls, up from two last year, with new delights and returning favourites. At the Founders Base, 16 indie game companies and startups from Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan offered a wide variety of games to try, including Ultra Space Battle Brawl by TOGE Productions (Indonesia), and BattleSky Brigade by Battlebrew Productions (Singapore). 16 local indie game developers also showcased new games at the Games Pavilion by the International Game Developers Association of Singapore (IGDA|SG), supported by IMDA.
Returning crowd favourites included the expanded Doujin Market with 40 booths showcasing game-inspired artwork and merchandise, the RetroDNA area, and theSecretlab Grand Prix Chair Race, back for the second year.
Analog gaming fans were treated to the debut of the GameStart TableTop (GST) gaming area, with the Dungeons and Dragons gaming tables, tabletop tournaments, and demo areas for Magic: The Gathering and Final Fantasy TCG. Visitors picked up drinks and food at the new Drinkery while checking out the latest Samsung tech or watching the heart-stopping action at the nearby SEA Major booth.
Gamers enjoyed Bandai’s highly anticipated Dragonball FighterZ, PlayStation’s unreleased game Final Fantasy Dissidia, custom racing pods for Gran Turismo Sport, and the South-east Asian debut of Shadowverse by Cygames.
At the GameStart Indies Awards, Cat Quest by Gentlebros (Visitor’s Choice) and Songbird Symphony (Judges’ Choice) by Joysteak Studios won the opportunity to exhibit at the Taipei Game Show 2018.
The fun never stopped at GameStart 2017. Special stage guests included the legendary Game Director of NieR: Automata YOKO TARO, Square Enix producer Yosuke Saito, and renowned board game designer, Eric Lang. Attendees also checked out the ARTBLOVK Gallery Exhibition and eager-eyed shoppers snapped up T-shirts from Xmashed Gear and gaming gear from Armaggeddon.
SEA Summit — Diving into the Heart of the Gaming Business
Eliphant, the organiser of GameStart Asia, and the International Mobile Game Awards (IMGA) hosted the inaugural SEA Summit business conference on 12 and 13 October. Local and overseas industry experts, including consultants, investors, media editors and professional gamers, shared insights on esports and game marketing opportunities and challenges.
The second edition of the International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA)’s SEA awards, held on 13 October after the Summit, saw 13 out of 65 titles emerge victorious.
A Weekend of Gaming Fun for families, buddies and comrades
Close to 1,000 cosplayers brought their favourite gaming characters to life across the halls with appearances by celebrity cosplay guests AstroKerrie, Vera Chimera, Ying Tze and Carry. A NieR Cosplay Contest was held in partnership with SOZO and Sony Music, featuring esteemed judges Tokumaru Oguri-san (President of World Cosplay Summit Co. Ltd), YOKO TARO and Yosuke Saito.
“We are absolutely delighted with the response to GameStart 2017 and are so grateful for the support of our exhibitors, partners, sponsors and most of all, the throngs of gaming fans who turned up. We really have an awesome gaming community here in Asia, and this show could not have been possible without the backing of everyone involved,” said Elicia Lee, Founder of GameStart Asia.
Esports Reaches Fever Pitch at SEA Major
With the esports scene inching closer to mainstream adoption, competitive gaming reached new heights in GameStart 2017. The convention hosted SEA Major 2017, the region’s largest fighting game tournament, and the inaugural SEA Mobile Major.
The US video game market generated a record $36 billion in revenue in 2017, up 18 percent from 2016. With over 930,000 video plays on 540,000 unique devices on Twitch, international players pitted their skills in the Capcom Pro Tour 2017 Asia Regional Finals, Tekken 7 Asia Regionals, Windjammers APAC Championship, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite Battle of the Stones and other tournaments. Other crowd-pleasers include the return of the annual GameStart FIFA 18 Tournament, the new Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds tournament, and the Grand Finals of the Legion Singapore League, the Shadowverse SEA Open and Vainglory tournaments.