Following the success of its inaugural show last year, GameStart 2015 will take place across three days from November 13 to 15, 2015 at Suntec Convention Centre, Halls 401 and 402, with double the floor space from last year at almost 4,000 square metres.
Last year, more than 12,000 game enthusiasts from Singapore and around the region had an adrenaline-fuelled weekend, trying their hands at over 45 games, cheering the players on at a variety of tournaments and competitions, and getting the insider view on everything to do with gaming.
Partners that are returning to participate in this year’s event include Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (Singapore Branch), Bandai Namco Entertainment, Blizzard Entertainment, Capcom Pro Tour Asia tournament and home-grown companies Armaggedon, IMBA Interactive, Kinetiquettes, Witching Hour Studios and Xmashed Gear.
This year, visitors can expect to see numerous trial stands and demo booths across all platforms – PC, console and mobile – and over 60 hot new games, including several that have yet to be launched. Over the weekend, there will be meet-the-producer sessions, show matches, eSports tournaments, cosplay runway showcase and exclusive promotions for game bundles and show merchandise. (Please refer to Annex A for the current confirmed slate of game titles that will be showcased at GameStart 2015. Many more titles are expected to be at the show.)
WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR
Visitors to GameStart 2015 will be the first in Southeast Asia to try the PlayStation VR headset peripheral. When worn during gameplay with PS4 VR games, the headset gives the user a truly immersive experience.
Bandai Namco Entertainment will showcase upcoming games Dark Souls III and Gundam Extreme vs. Force. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will be presenting Lego Marvel’s Avengers, which is expected to launch in January.
Thanks to the Star Wars fans at Geek Culture, GameStart 2015 attendees will also be the first in Singapore to experience the Star Wars™: Battle Pod™, an experiential arcade game that features a dome-shaped screen, transporting players into heated battles in a galaxy far, far away. In iconic locations like the Death Star, players will be able to take control of some of the most memorable vehicles and moments in the Star Wars universe and pilot them to victory.
New partners on board this year include the organisers of Taipei Game Show – Taipei Computer Association, Singapore Gamebox by Games Solution Centre, Warner Brothers Games, Funplus, Obutto Singapore, Saint Games and Simply Toys.
No Average Joe, GameStart 2015’s Production Partner for the show, has brought back the popular retro gaming section “Retro DNA”, where gamers can check out vintage game consoles, games and arcade machines from the 1980s to the early 2000.
Merchandise for fans and collectors include official Blizzard merchandise including items from Blizzcon 2015 that will be sold in limited quantities, exclusive pieces from Simply Toys, and Arc System Works from Japan will be offering exclusive merchandise of their critically acclaimed fighting game franchises, BlazBlue and Guilty Gear.
SUPPORT FOR LOCALS, START-UPS AND INDIES
In line with GameStart Asia’s goal to showcase independent developers and gaming-related start-ups, this year there will be 30 independent companies at the show, a big jump from 2014, where there were only eight participating companies. These will be located at two sections – Founders Base, and the Singapore Gamebox booth.
Founders Base is GameStart’s own indie section which will feature a variety of gaming-related start-ups, artists, crafters and independent studios. This year, 17 exhibitors from Singapore, Barcelona, Hong Kong, and Taiwan will be showcasing their wares. Look out for award-winning Singapore company LambdaMu Games, best known for their simulation game Pixel People, Herding Cats from Barcelona will be there with their new mobile game Cannonland, and Hong Kong-based Genuine Studio will feature a game which will have players constructing a thriving night market.
The Founders Base list of exhibitors and profiles are available on Annex B.
The Singapore Gamebox booth is hosted by Games Solution Centre (GSC), an initiative by the Media Development Authority (MDA) and managed by Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), that is a one-stop resource centre for Singapore-based game developers, and is the region’s first PlayStation Incubation Studio. GSC will help promote 15 local independent game developers who will showcase their games at the Singapore Gamebox pavilion to GameStart 2015’s visitors. This includes the five mobile games that were specially created for SG50. More information can be found here http://www.mda.gov.sg/sg50games
COSPLAY CELEB GUEST JUDGES ● COMPETITIONS ● ESPORTS TOURNAMENTS
Cosplayers who come to GameStart in recognisable costumes from games, anime and manga pay only $5 to enter the halls on Saturday and Sunday. Celebrity cosplayers Johnny (Junkers Cosplay) and Karin (Acanthastar Cosplay) from the United States and TUNA from South Korea will be at the show to meet their fans and will also be judges for the Game On! Cosplay Runway Showcase on Sunday, 15 November, organised by cosplay partner Neo Tokyo Project. Please refer to Annex C for cosplay guest profiles.
Well-known FIFA eSports personality Mohd Phirkhan “Xtr3me3” will bring back 2014’s popular “Xtr3me3’s GameStart Champion’s Cup”. This year included pre-qualifiers in Singapore and Malaysia, and a Last Chance Qualifier will be held on 13 November. The competition is supported by sponsors Ingram Micro Asia, Armageddon, SecretLab and Colosseum. The top 16 players will win cash and prizes, with the top player taking home a S$2,000 cash prize and SecretLab ergonomic gaming chair worth over S$300.
Organised by BEast of the East and Capcom, the Capcom Pro Tour Asia returns as nine Street Fighter players from the region compete for the chance to qualify for the prestigious Capcom Cup, which will be held at the PlayStation Experience event in the US in December. This year’s tournament includes an open Last Chance Qualifier on 13 November, finals on 14 and 15 November. Top players who have qualified include Singapore’s RZR Xian, Dakou and Xiaohai from China, Be Nemo, Misse, Mov and RB Bonchan from Japan, and Poongko from South Korea.
SHOW MATCHES AND PERFORMANCES
There will be daily show matches for the highly anticipated multiplayer first-person-shooter Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige, featuring local gaming team “No Use Talking” vs “HBS” (HontoniBuaySai). This will be a great preview build-up for fans before the game officially releases in December.
Gamers will also witness the StarCraft II Legacy of the Void SEA Beta Anniversary Tournament Grand Finals, a Hearthstone show match, game producer presentations, a Street Fighter V Producer Showcase and on a different note, a performance by Gentle Love, a musical duo from Japan comprising of saxophonist Norihiko Hibino (composer for Bayonetta and the Metal Gear Solid series) and pianist AYAKI. The Gentle Love duo will be performing well-known game music pieces and have collaborated on several projects, primarily performing and making music to provide therapeutic relief to others after the wake of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
INAUGURAL BUSINESS DAY – GAMING IN ASIA
With events and games that will appeal to everyone from core and casual gamers to cosplay enthusiasts, this year organisers have expanded the show to include an industry-focused Business Day and conference session on Friday, 13 November themed “Gaming in Asia: Trends & Insights”. The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) is the supporting agency for the Conference, with the aim of profiling and promoting the career opportunities within this dynamic and exciting industry.
Ubisoft Singapore Senior Producer Hugues Ricour will be the keynote speaker for the conference and will share his views on how AAA HD game titles put Singapore on the map. Attendees will also get the inside scoop from experts from Facebook, Mad Catz and Twitch, among others.
TICKETING, LOOT BAG & MERCHANDISE
The first 500 visitors to the show on Saturday and Sunday will receive a ‘Random Loot Bag’ which could contain anything from exclusive T-shirts to games, posters and other exclusive items. All paid ticket holders qualify for the show lucky draw in which they could win prizes such as consoles and gaming accessories. These include a SecretLab chair, Obutto racing seat, products from Armaggeddon and Razer, Kinetiquettes Street Fighter statues, and more. Full details will be revealed on the GameStart.asia website. Homegrown gaming gear company Armaggeddon will be also be launching exciting new products at the show.
Official apparel partner for GameStart, Xmashed Gear will be debuting new designs for sale at the event. Also available for sale will be game-themed socks specially created for GameStart 2015, a collaboration withFreshly Pressed. A total of 17 designs will be available at the event.
Standard priced tickets can be purchased online at GameStart Asia’s website – www.gamestart.asia and from selected retail partners – Saint Games (The Cathay), GameScore (Funan outlet), and all GameXtreme outlets (see website for address details). One-Day Standard ticket for entry on either 14 or 15 November is S$12, and a Two-Day Standard allowing entry for both days is S$22. There is a special edition VIP ticket at $58 that gives priority access on all three days to passholders, This VIP ticket will also include special premium items and GameStart 2015 stationery and merchandise including an exclusive Alyse Xmashed Gear T-shirt, Freshly Pressed x GameStart Official Socks worth S$12 and Saint Games Cafe PlayTime $7 Vouchers. Conference passes are available at www.gamestart.asia and include entry to the convention hall for all three days, as well as the networking Gaming Night on 13 Nov. Thanks to WDA support, all Singaporeans and PRs are eligible to buy the tickets at a special price. MyRepublic is the Official Fibre Broadband Partner for the event.