Last week saw the annual Eurogamer Expo take place at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London and this year, along with a few friends, I decided to attend. The last time I graced the hallowed halls of the Eurogamer Expo was back in 2010 and this year there were a couple of things that struck me about the whole event, things that were markedly different from the last time I attended.
The most telling difference was in the clientèle attending the show. While you still had a good number of your stereotypical ‘gamer types’: overweight, neck bearded, badly dressed (and in need of good shower); I was surprised at the number of females and also parents with their children in attendance. It was good to see that different demographics now feel comfortable with expressing their love of gaming and attending expos like this.
The other big difference I noticed was the growth in indie and casual games on the show floor. While previous shows had included an Indie Games Arcade, this year on top of the arcade, there was a whole extra area given over to indie orientated games and there were also a lot of smaller XBLA/PSN/Steam type games on show along with a few ‘casual’ games as well. It was certainly a change to two years ago when the likes of Hell Yeah! and Hotline Miami would have stood no chance of getting a look in against the big blockbuster titles.
Shows like this often hold a mirror up to the gaming industry and it was interesting to see the way things had changed. Yes, you still had your scantily-clad models, your cosplayers and the aforementioned ‘gamer types’, but you also had clear proof that gaming is starting to move out of the cupboard and join the rest of the entertainment industry.
It felt refreshing to walk around the show floor and see all the different people enjoying their hobby. There was a different feel to the whole show from when I was last in attendance and I think that has a lot to do with the industry growing up and the influx of a more rounded group of people into gaming as a whole. Personally, I welcome the change and I look forward to seeing whether things continue in this direction and next year’s Expo has the same kind of feel.
I'll finish by posting a video taken of us all during the event.