Eurogamer Expo, hosted by Eurogamer.net, begins four days of gaming previews, developer sessions, cosplays and demos on Thursday 27th September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. Now in its fifth year, the Expo has come a long way since its first show in 2008 with an attendance of 4000. Last year, also held in the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, saw an attendance of 34,500.
My Eurogamer Expo 2012 Preview article is quite sizeable and can be split in to three chunks:
- Eurogamer Expo 2012 – What’s on including an interview with Tom Champion (Eurogamer’s Events guy)
- Eurogamer Expo 2011 – Expo Survival Guide and my top fifteen free things from EGXP 2011
- Extras – Including what Insert Coin Clothing are up to at EGXP 2012, details of the Samsung Cyber Games Qualifying and an interview with three cosplayers planning to cosplay three Saints from the Hitman Absolution trailer.
EUROGAMER Expo 2012
So what’s on at this year’s Eurogamer Expo? Playable on the Expo floor will be some of this year’s biggest releases.
My two most anticipated games of the year, Dishonoured and Hitman Absolution are both playable, along with the following:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- Halo 4
- Hitman Absolution
- Assassin’s Creed 3
- Borderlands 2
- Aliens: Colonial Marines
- Dead Space 3
- Dust 514
- Doom 3 BFG Edition
- FarCry 3
- Fifa 2013
- Medal of Honour: Warfighter
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
- Ni No Kuni
- Resident Evil 6
- Tom Raider
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- DmC: Devil May Cry
Also on site, each day developer sessions will take place from some of the leading names in the industry.
Thursday opens with Frank O’Connor from 343 Industries with a session on Halo 4 and closes with a session I’m looking forward to Torben Ellert and Christian Elverdam from IO Interactive talking about Hitman Absolution. On Sunday, Meagan Marie and Brian Horton from Crystal Dynamics will be talking about Tomb Raider. There are many more developer sessions, and some announcements still to be made, so keep an eye on the Eurogamer Expo Developer Sessions timetable for more details
Tom Champion Interview
I caught up with Tom Champion, Eurogamer’s Community Manager and Events Guy.
Eurogamer Expo has come a long way since its first show in 2008. The attendance figures have nearly doubled each year. What attendance figures are you looking at this year?
We’re looking to hit 50,000 people this year which sounds crazy when you think that in 2008 the attendance was about a tenth of that. It’s important that we also grow the size of the show in terms of more consoles & PCs and more for people to do in general and I think we’ve achieved that again this year. For example, we’ll have over 250 PCs on the show floor this time, that’s more than we’ve ever had before. In addition, there’s the all new chill out area where people can take a break from the hectic show floor and relax a little bit.
You have got a sterling line up of games and developer sessions, what are you most looking forward to at the expo?
Thanks! Hideo Kojima is a huge coup for us so I’m looking forward to him just attending the show, let alone his developer session on Thursday. As for the games, I’m a big Sim City fan and the online aspects of this new version are really appealing to me. I’ll be interested to try the game out, assuming I get the time! Then, of course, we have the Wii U. New hardware is always very exciting and I can’t wait to check out the new Nintendo console. In general I just love being at the expo. Seeing the doors open and the excitement on people’s faces is brilliant.
What gaming release are you most looking forward to this year?
Probably Dishonored. New IP is always fascinating and the game sounds so promising. I’m also a big Borderlands fan so I’m looking forward to the sequel.
What’s the future of Eurogamer Expo? With questions around the future of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre’s future and the steady expansion of Eurogamer Expo, what can we expect from next year?
Bigger and better! 2013 is going to be a huge year for the games industry with new Microsoft and Sony consoles heavily rumoured and we’d love to be the place that people come to check them out. As far as we’re aware, Earls Court is still available to us for next year’s event. After that, we’ll see!
The gaming market is in turmoil with developers closing and the near closure of Game this year. Gaming sales have been steadily falling; do you think this is because of old hardware? Do you think the release of the Wii U and future releases of Sony and Microsoft’s new hardware will bring back sales to the gaming industry? What are your thoughts on the future of gaming?
I think new hardware will certainly boost the industry and I’m excited to see what innovations they’ll bring. I think the future of games will certainly involve cloud gaming, that’s backed up by Sony’s purchase of Gaikai. Hopefully we’ll get the broadband infrastructure we need to make this available to everybody.
The UK launch of Onlive was held at Eurogamer Expo 2011, with a huge amount of subscribers receiving or applying for their consoles at the Expo, where do you think things went wrong for the system?
Good question! I’m no business analyst but as a gamer all I’m interested in is playing the right titles. If you aren’t able to secure support from key publishers then your system will always struggle as you won’t have the games that people really want to play. As I mentioned in my previous answer, I think we still have a way to come before the broadband infrastructure is up to scratch. A lot of people weren’t able to use OnLive because of an inadequate connection.
What are your thoughts on the Ouya?
Cautiously optimistic. It’s a good idea but there are going to be a number of hurdles to overcome, not least of which is the rampant piracy on Android systems.
EUROGAMER Expo 2011
What follows is my top fifteen freebies from Eurogamer Expo 2011 and my Eurogamer Survival guide. Both of these will be updated after the first day of Eurogamer Expo (Thursday 27th Sep) in a new post, so anyone attending Eurogamer Expo over the rest of the weekend will know what to expect.
- Arrive early – If you arrive an hour early, that hour will in effect save you more time inside. The queues build up quickly, and if you’re queuing outside while people are queuing inside, it’s self defeating. So if possible, arrive early so that you’re one of the first in the door.
- Be prepared to queue – Peeps, you’re going to queue. It’s fact. If you don’t like queuing, I’d suggest waiting until the games are released and playing them in your own sweet time. The shorter the time on the game, the quicker the queue moves. I’d rather have a longer session and queue longer for it, but that’s just me. Eurogamer is setup very well and none of the queues are particularly epic, but you’re still going to queue. Get over it early, and enjoy yourself.
- Bring a bottle of water with you – Although Earls Court is one of the best venues, as it’s got high ceilings and good air-conditioning, it can still get warm in the queues. So have some water on hand as you don’t want to be wasting time queuing for water when you could be in the queue for something far more important.
- Plan what you want to see – I’m a military man, so I plan, it’s what I do. Not everyone does it, but you should at least think about this. Know what your priorities are. Make say a top three and out of those pick your number one. Then make a list of everything else you want to achieve. Maps are available on the Eurogamer website and in the Eurogamer guide you get as you enter. Once you’ve got your wrist band, head straight for your number one priority. This will probably be your shortest queue of the day, so head straight there. Then after, visit number two and three, then the rest. By at least thinking about what you want, your chances of missing or forgetting something will decrease.
- Stay until the end – After 17:00, it gets a lot quieter. Sure there’s usually no free stuff by that time, but you can mop up all the games you want to see easily in the last two hours.
- Have a big breakfast – I don’t generally eat at conventions, I can eat at home when I’m not dual wielding axes in Skyrim, or trying to convince the Wipeout girl that I’m a racing driver from the future too. Food there can be pretty expensive, so I always eat at home, grab a coffee and then run on caffeine until I get home. Is it healthy? No. Does it give me more time gaming? Yes, yes it does.
Top Fifteen free stuff
- OnLive Console – Sign-up and queue
- Playstation Goodiebag – Like the Playstation Access Facebook page in front of them to receive it
- Uncharted 3 T-Shirt – Scan the QR code on the huge billboard at the front of Earls Court and take it to the Playstation stand (Very limited – You’ll be given a unique code after scanning, once they’re gone, they’re gone)
- 20 Years of ID T-shirt – Given out at the 20 Years of ID Developer Conference
- Battlefield 3 Dogtags – Prove you’ve pre-ordered Battlefield 3, and they’ll engrave dog tags for you
- Prey 2 T-shirt – Given out at the Prey 2 Developer Conference
- Tekken Blood Vengeance T-shirt – Given out at the Namco Bandai stand
- Rage XBL Avatar Items – Given out as you enter the Rage gaming area
- I Played it First Lanyard and Card – Given after playing on the PS Vita
- Skyrim T-shirt – Given out by Bethesda staff
- Wipeout 2048 postards and stickers – Given out by Ami Nakajima
- Arkham City Keyring and limited edition can of Batman Kick – Given out at the Batman Arkham Asylum stand
- Gears of War 3 lanyard – Given out at the Gears of War demo units
- X-Box 360 lanyard – Given out by XBL staff if you found them on the shop floor
- Saints Row: The Third bobblehead and sunglasses – Given out by the Saints Row girls
My pictures from Eurogamer Expo 2011 can be viewed here.
Insert Coin Clothing
Insert Coin Clothing, designers and producers of some of the best gaming related clothing on the market will, after a hugely successful Eurogamer Expo 2011, return for Eurogamer Expo 2012. I caught up with Dan Long, ICC’s Head of Communications.
Can we expect the same from Insert Coin Clothing at EGXP 2012 as we did in EGXP 2011? Are you going to be running huge crowd gathering competitions again?
Our store at EGXP2012 is going to be bigger and better – we’ve got an even larger presence at the show and we’ll have even more treats and all round awesomeness for folks too! We’ll have loads of giveaways across the four days too and some truly EPIC competitions… one of which is just HUGE!
We’ve got loads of new designs incoming for the event too – with our Tekken, DOA and Resident Evil ranges all launching exclusively at the show.
What are the Insert Coin Clothing team most looking forward to seeing (if they get chance) at Eurogamer Expo and what are their most anticipated game is for the rest of the year?
There are so many awesome games at EGXP this year, it’s gonna be more difficult than ever to choose what to play. Everyone on the IC crew really wants to get their hands on Halo 4 though… we’re really excited about that!
Samsung World Cyber Games Qualifying
The final UK qualification tournaments for this year’s World Cyber Games (WCG) are taking place at Eurogamer Expo. The Starcraft 2 and World of Tanks qualifying legs have already been completed, so the only route now open to player wishing to gain a place in the final in China is through the Samsung WCG Fifa 12 tournaments held throughout Eurogamer Expo 2012. All players need to do is turn up to the Samsung stand and register.
Eurogamer Expo Cosplayer Interviews
Jerri-Kay, Anais and Lisa Marie are planning to cosplay three of the Saints from the contraversial, Hitman Absolution: Attack of the Saints trailer on the Saturday of Eurogamer Expo 2012. I caught up with them to talk about their opinions on the trailer, gaming and their cosplaying history.
What’s your name?
- Lisa Marie
How long have you been cosplaying?
- (JK) For nearly 3 years now.
- (A) Almost 4 years.
- (LM) Just under 3 years.
What was your first cosplay?
- (JK) I did a Lara Croft: Tomb Raider costume when I was about 12, I thought it was amazing at the time, it obviously wasn’t!
- (A) Psylocke.
- (LM) Amy Pond from Doctor Who.
What has been your favourite cosplay so far?
- (JK) Definitely my Babydoll costume from the movie Sucker Punch. People have been so lovely about it and it’s so fun to wear.
- (A) Commander Shepard.
- (LM) The Doppelganger from Tomb Raider Underworld.
What has been your most challenging cosplay so far?
- (JK) Probably Harley Quinn. I had to make everything out of faux leather which isn’t easy to sew at all!
- (A) Commander Shepard.
- (LM) Blondie from Sucker Punch.
Why do you cosplay, which aspect is most appealing to you?
- (JK) I love making the costume itself and ‘being’ the character.
- (A) I think I love everything about cosplay. From the designing to the creation to the photos on the day. I love hanging out with like minded people but most of all I like the challenge of working out how to take something from screen to real life.
- (LM) I love both making and wearing the costume. Making costumes is stressful, time consuming and often expensive, but it’s worth it to be proud of something you’ve made and spend the day with your friends and show appreciation for something you love.
You’ve chosen to cosplay a character from one of the most controversial gaming trailers released this year, how do you feel about the controversy surrounding Hitman Absolution: Attack of the Saints?
- (JK) I think it’s insane. People need to lighten up abit. The game is in no way defiling religion or nuns, it’s the Saint’s way of causing trouble and breaking the rules. It’s what they do. I think they’re perfect outfit choices.
- (A) Well to be honest, I think it’s ridiculous. The trailer was based on one level of the game. I thought the Saints looked fabulous, albeit a little impractical for assassin wear and I cannot wait to fight them in game.
- (LM) If I’m totally honest I think some people are too easily offended. We obviously enjoyed the trailer and chose to cosplay some of the Saints ourselves, the controversy of the extreme level of violence and the portrayal of the Saints is blown out of proportion as the trailer is based on 1 level and 1 possible outcome.
What are your opinions on sexism in gaming?
- (JK) I wouldn’t count myself as a feminist but patriarchy and misogyny are just not okay. I think we’re seeing less and less of it in games so far, like the new Tomb Raider and Mass Effect. I think women will always be seen as ‘inferior’ in the gaming world as it’s a mostly male dominated industry, but the women of the gaming culture will always be the most badass.
- (A) I’ve grown up with half naked over sexualized women in video-games the entirety of my life from Lara Croft’s ample bosom to the practically naked Ivy in Soul Calibur and I feel like the games market lacks female characters who can to be honest, keep some clothes on. It’s one of the reasons I am in love with the Femshep from Mass Effect. She holds her own with her clothes on. But while I can live with nudity, it’s the sexism behind the controller that as a female is hard to deal with. I have a female XBL user name and when other people have mics on, I have listened to a lot of female slurring and insults directed towards me.
- (LM) Well… Some of the biggest gamers I know are girls and gaming cosplay also has a large female presence. But Girl gamers often get slurred at and judged both in game and out, and it sucks. Also women in games are often shown as huge-chested, half naked and wearing ridiculous ‘armour’ that would give basically zero protection (or actually cause hindrance) in a real fight.
Are you a gamer yourself?
- (JK) Hell yeah!
- (A) I am indeed.
- (LM) Yes, but I don’t play nearly as much as some.
What systems do you own?
- (JK) I own a Playstation 3 and use that as my main platform. When I fancy playing an older game I use my Playstation 2 and Nintendo Gamecube. I also have a Nintendo Wii and DS.
- (A) Xbox.
- (LM) Xbox 360, but I mainly game on PC.
What’s your favourite game?
- (JK) This is such a hard question! Probably a mix between Batman Arkham City and any of the Tomb Raider games. They were my first loves.
- (A) Probably Mass Effect 2.
- (LM) Erm… Halo 3 or Portal 2.
What’s your favourite gaming franchise?
- (JK) Again, I can’t pick just one! Mario, Call of Duty, Zelda, Tomb Raider, Batman and Mass Effect are all my favourites to name a few.
- (A) Mass Effect, Silent Hill and Assassins Creed. I love them all.
- (LM) Tomb Raider.
What gaming release are you most looking forward to?
- (JK) The new Tomb Raider without a doubt. We’ve been waiting a long time for it. Assassin’s Creed 3, BioShock Infinite and of course Hitman: Absolution.
- (A) Oh that’s tough. Dead Space 3 or Assassins Creed 3.
- (LM) Tomb Raider in March next year (very sad that it was pushed back).
What are you most looking forward to at Eurogamer Expo?
- (JK) Seeing Meagan Marie in the flesh!
- (A) Getting to try out some games I might not have heard of otherwise.
- (LM) Cosplaying and playing /seeing games I wouldn’t experience otherwise.
Thank you very much for your time girls. I look forward to seeing your cosplays on the Saturday of Eurogamer and finding out what you think about the playable demo of Hitman: Absolution.
Are you going to Eurogamer Expo 2012? What are you most looking forward to?
For those not attending, follow me on twitter for live updates from all four days of Eurogamer Expo 2012.
And for those attending and not attending, check back with Following the Nerd on the evening of Thursday 27 Sep 12 for my Day 1 report, including my top free stuff and survival guide and then after Sunday 30 Sep 12 for my full Eurogamer Expo 2012 report.