Ten thousand square feet. Thousands and thousands of fans. Developers and publishers showcasing the latest and upcoming titles.
Welcome to EB EXPO, 2011: Australia’s biggest video game exhibition, which kicked off on October 15. Hosted in the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in sunny Queensland (yes, there was sun despite the terrible weather reports), EB EXPO is an Australian first and gives gamers a local opportunity to view all the big titles slated for release later on this year.
With playable demos for games such as Batman: Arkham City, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, EB EXPO’s stalls place gaming for the rest of this year (and some of next year) on a silver platter for the public.
The first day kicked off with BMX riders, sparklers, and a look at the past, present, and future of video game history. The arena filled out with gamers, cosplayers, and members of the games industry. Queues formed for The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Halo: Combat Evolved, and the atmosphere was absolutely contagious.
The exhibitors who had stalls included Activision Blizzard, Warner Bros., Ubisoft, Bluemouth, EA, Namco Bandai, Xbxo 360 Kinect, Razer, Bethesda, Konami, THQ, Sega, Turtlebeach, Nintendo, and the Parrot AR Drone. The stalls were definitely crowded for the duration of each session (although what do you expect?), and there was plenty of positive feedback for the titles and products gamers got a chance to try their hands at.
EB EXPO also had live presentations for gamers to hear – from the developer and publisher’s mouths – what was planned for these upcoming games, consoles, and accessories. The EB Live sessions consisted of an introduction of the PS Vita from Sony, presentations from the big game releases (including an Australian first of Saints Row: The Third. The first day also saw a keynote from Peter Moore, EA’s Chief Operating Officer, and the DICE team, and the final of the World Cyber Games Australia (the winner gets to go to Korea for the world finals!). Day two was the Just ‘Cos Cosplay Competition, where an insane amount of people showed off their costumes and rocked their characters with flair.
We got to chat to some guys at the Bluemouth, Turtlebeach, Nintendo, and EA booths, and they gave us a fantastic rundown on the products we can be expecting to see on shelves later this year. Some highlights include the Turtlebeach Modern Warfare 3 headsets, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Bluemouth’s Batman controllers to celebrate the upcoming release of Arkham City.
Sometimes, it’s hard for us sites to remember the Australian public doesn’t get to see these upcoming playable titles at events like E3 and Tokyo Games Show. The EB EXPO 2011 was a wonderful opportunity for the gaming community to try their hand at what will be gracing their consoles in late 2011/early 2012.
Of course, a picture says a thousand words, so here’s a look at the photos from the weekend. Yes, there are a ton of booth babes – but come on, who doesn’t love ‘em? My favourite person at the expo still has to be Commander Shephard from the Mass Effect franchise, though.
Great job, EB Games. Australia’s largest video game exhibition certainly began and ended with a bang, and it can only get better and better from here.
You can also click here to see the rest of our coverage for the event.