There’s less than a week to go now until Play Expo 2014! This will officially be the first event I’ve ever attended, after unfortunately having to miss out on a few this year due to other commitments. I am incredibly excited about it and counting down the days!
You may remember me talking about Play Expo in a previous post I made about it back in August. There have been a few updates in the meantime, so here’s a round-up of all the announcements for this year:
- Huge indie zone with over 25 studios such as Team 17, Cinemaware, Curve Digital and Dalala Studios exhibiting their latest games. Titles include Gang Beasts, Overruled, Flockers, Wulverblade, Mutiny, Beyond Flesh & Blood, Iron Fisticle and 30 more.
- The UK’s largest arcade with over 250 arcade machines and pinball tables all set to free play. Afterburner, Gauntlet, Operation Wolf, Pacman, Street Fighter 2, Donkey Kong, Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins, Joust, OutRun, Mortal Kombat, Space Invaders and so many more classics will be available to play over the weekend.
- Konami will be giving Play Expo attendees the UK’s first hands-on of the latest Pro Evolution Soccer game with official Konami and PES brand prizes up for grabs and the chance to win a ‘money can’t buy’ UCL Dream Ticket which guarantees the winner as seat at the 32-man PES UCL Final.
- The now.play zone will feature over 100 PS4 consoles running next-gen games from Konami, Warner, PQube PSN games such as OlliOlli 2, New N Tasty, Towerfall Ascension and Velocity 2X plus a Minecraft Zone on PS4 consoles
- A meet and greet and signing session from YouTube celebrity Tom Cassell (TheSyndicateProject).
- TV and film celebrities including Craig Charles and Chris Barrie from Red Dwarf, David Prowse, Kenny Baker and Jeremy Bulloch from Star Wars, the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones plus Bumblebee and Barricade from Transformers and Doc Browns Deloreon from Back to the Future!
- A number of talks, panels and Q&As from developers including Team17, Cinemaware, Charles Cecil, Mel Croucher and Just Add Water studios.
- A no-holds-barred debate to settle the great playground battle of the 1980s – Commodore or Spectrum? Hosted by Retro Gamer magazine’s Paul Drury and Martyn Carroll featuring Andy Walker (Taskset), Ste Pickford (The Pickford Bros), Jeff Minter (Llamasoft) and John Gibson (Imagine Software).
- A PC LAN zone with networked classics such as Doom, Counterstrike, Quake and many more favourites.
- Screen.play celebration of some of the best film franchises with props and games from Star Wars, Aliens, Robocop, Terminator, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones!
- Europe’s biggest retro games display with over 300 classic computers, consoles and handhelds all running the best-loved games from the past 40 years. Sega, Nintendo, Atari, Playstation, Commodore, Spectrum, Xbox, Amstrad, Neo Geo, PC Engine – almost every games console you can think of will be at Play Expo!
- A mini careers fair where you can get advice on getting into the games industry from companies like Futureworks, Aardvark Swift and Gamercamp.
- Cosplay sketching, J-Pop dancers, LARP demos, circus performers, a cosplay gameshow plus the annual Play Expo masquerade where you can win a years’ worth of passes to Replay and Showmasters events and other great prizes.
- Heaps of prize tournaments for all the latest and greatest games including Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Ultra Street Fighter 4, Halo 4, Pro Evo Soccer 2015 and huge raft of retro tournaments run by Retro Collect.
- EGL and Riot Games will be hosting the LAN Finals of one of the League of Legends 4 Nations Qualifiers, giving you a chance to compete for a spot at the 4 Nations Grand Finals and a shot at a €8000 prize pool.
- Amazing board games and card games for you to try out. With a mix of old and new games, the Dark Cleo team will be teaching you how to play, staging some friendly tournaments and even running a Pokémon Quiz with a prize for the winner.
- Our biggest ever trader zone with all manner of gaming and merchandise retailers including apparel, comics, board games, toys, figures, retro games plus all the latest games and consoles from our headline retail partner GameSeek.
- The Video Game Carnival will be making a return – the ringmaster will be bringing his popular sideshows such as the amazing Fruitcade, Laser Pong, Micro Machines Mayhem, the Picture Postcard and Giant Gameboys to the show.
This expo seems ideal for me as it mixes both retro and new games. I can’t wait to check out the old arcade units, games and pinball tables! There’s so much I want to do I’m slightly worried I won’t have time for it all. It’s going to be a 3 hour trip each way as well, but I feel it’ll be worth the drive!
I’ll be going up there on the Saturday with my friend Lewis, but not 100% confirmed on the Sunday yet. If you’re going and would like to say “hi”, let me know ahead of time on twitter and I’ll try and arrange a meet-up. I love meeting with gamers and getting a chance to see you in person! I’ll try and post a photo of what I’m wearing on the day so it’s easier to spot me.
Also, if you have any advice about expos, questions about the event, or would like to tell me about other shows that are great to attend, let me know in the comments below!