So I attended the Eurogamer even in Birmingham (UK) yesterday in an unofficial capacity, I did consider doing some website promo but I was going with my youngest son and I wanted to spend some time with him this year. So onto the show, as always I get very excited as the event approaches, I always purchase early entry tickets so I could try and get on some games I am looking forward to before it gets to busy, on entering the show I am slightly underwhelmed with the opening to the event, previous shows made it feel more like a big deal, this year was just an opening and nothing more.
There was the usual Nintendo and Playstation areas, and as usual the way the queuing works is slightly annoying but this has not changed from day one so I live with that. What was shocking was the lack of an Xbox area, this is a big thumbs down from Microsoft to the team that create the Eurogamer event, it left me thinking that they clearly don’t see EGX as an important show anymore, there was no Fifa, No Forza, not even a preview of Red Dead Redemption, in fact, the best game at the show from a big studio was Metro: Exodus and that in itself is shocking knowing what games are coming out soon.
The retro area as always was something special, I managed to go on some systems I’ve never seen in the flesh let alone played on, the Apple Pip Pen and PC Engine Shuttle, there was many other systems and its great to see so many people playing and reliving memories and sharing stories with their children. If it was not for this area I doubt I would attend future events, especially if they continue down its current path.
Finally, I do feel its time we laid this show to rest in its current guise, I ran a poll and 30% of those that replied agreed with me that the show was poor, another 60% said it was the same as always and I think that’s a bad indictment itself, only 10% said it was a great show. Yes, we can put our heads in the sand and pretend it was all great but it really was not, the early years of this show rocked at Earls Court (London) now there is way to much emphasis on youtubers, clothing, merchandise, cosplay and so on.. What made EGX special was its core focus on getting us access to the best games across the board, now its become a jack of all trades and a master of none. If you don’t believe me, consider this, this years event had a huge indie section front and centre and that was the big feature of the event, hardly any AAA support and there is the most telling issue here, are the big studios getting bored of EGX? Bravo on supporting indie dev, just not everyone’s cup of tea.
There are many gaming events to fix peoples needs, I am a gamer, I play games, I don’t stream and I don’t care about streaming or Youtube videos of people playing games, yes there is a market for it, hell my kids love it but there are 1000’s like me, maybe the event could redeem itself by making 2 days purely gaming, then the last two days to cater for everyone else. Either way, they need to decide what this event is trying to be and fast.