Find out what deculture thought about Games Alliance Middle East – Games ’08.
It had been hectic yet extremely enjoyable 2 days of the GAMES08. For the first time something on such a large scale was held for gaming in the Middle East (and lucky for us in Dubai!) with all the heavy weights present, bringing along with them even heavier names to add to the credibility of the event as well as the market.
I speak of Ian Livingstone who gave the key note (while us hungry souls hogged some food). Shame on you if you don’t know, but this guy is the brainchild behind Tomb Raider and co-founder of Games Workshop (of Warhammer fame)! His speech/presentation included a little history of games and a justification as to why we should be taken seriously. He said that back in the day the gamers were young, now they’ve grown up and they’re bigger and are making games for a more mature market; around a quarter of the rest of his keynote was self advertisement of Tomb Raider, while at the same time portraying it as a Brand which has done wonders for the gaming as well as the general media and manufacturing industries.
Another fine gentleman, Nick Parker, partner at Parker Consulting and an Associate Consultant at Screen Digest for videogame industry stats, talked about the importance of the videogaming industry along with reems of graphs and figures (much like school!). We would be having a detailed interview with him up very soon so hold on to your calculators.
Eventhough the best part of the 2 days were the playable game codes on the floor, the other most significant development was the recognition of people working for the gaming industry in the Middle East There was an award ceremony which took place right after dinner on the first evening. Our friends at Megamers.com won Gold for best online media whereas their sister concern T-break.com won Bronze. Silver went to True-gaming.net which is an Arabic online videogaming magazine and a real professional one at that! Charged won Gold for best print media where as Stuff and Technomania took home Silver and Bronze respectively. On the radio front, Dubai 92 got bronze, Channel 4 received silver whereas 103.8 Dubai Eye won Gold for the weekly show, Game ON!
Props to the Organizers which include RED, Pluto, Microsoft (their PR – ASDA) and SONY (their PR – TBWA) for providing the depth to the show, which was worth the trouble, given the weather, the times and salik (road toll) ;)! And Kudos to Momentum for an awesome job of bringing us the whole shebang! (and also granting us MEDIA ACCESS 😉
It was an evening of firsts. Infact 2 evenings of Firsts and with the love it’s spreading, it should only get bigger!
When I first heard about Games ’08, I was really skeptical to be honest. I thought that there was no way all these publishers will be here with playable code for their upcoming games, let alone AAA titles. I was really amazed then, when games like Street Fighter IV, Killzone 2 and Resident Evil 5 were playable amongst others. Granted that these were probably the same builds used for E3 and Liepzig (and perhaps even TGS next month), I was just blown away by the fact that everything there was playable!
What really impressed me was the fact that they had actual representatives from these publishers promoting their games, and not just corporate numbers being wantonly thrown around about sales. The turn out was (according to the organisers) above 800 attendees. Consider this, before you pass any judgment, that this was the first event of it’s kind in this region, and the venue was a moderately large hall for the entire show floor. Also, all attendees entered through registration only, with the event not being promoted in the local media to the general public. The cool side effect of this was that the people attending were very sensible and tolerable, making for a very pleasant event (instead of the usual pushing and shoving and long queues at such conventions). Going by all this, I’d say Games ’08 was a huge success, and I look forward to next year with just more of everything really.
Check out some of the show floor pics from the final day.
And on that encouraging note, see you next (year) deculture!