If you wished for a show that focuses more on esoteric fares on the PC market in a foreign mindset, you need not look further than the South Korean games expo called G-Star.
Held every year in the middle of November since 2005 (specifically from 14th to 17th November this year), one can say that it’s the complete opposite of the console-focused Tokyo Games Show. PC online games with free-to-play business models rule the roost here. The roster includes fantasy online RPG or a sci-fi action first-person shooter, where the artillery is plentiful and the armor gets outrageous.
The Lay Of The Land
The event is split into three sections: a B2C exhibition hall where the public can see what’s new and upcoming on the PC and mobile gaming space, two B2B hallways where publishers, developers and distribution houses all around the world conduct deals and businesses, and an auditorium section where the League of Legends Championship Winter opening game takes place. Even further away from Europe and America, no one can escape the glorification of MOBAs.
The outside area between the B2C hall and auditorium contains attractions and booths from various publishers like Korean-based publisher Nexon, and everybody’s favorite Western punching bag tech company (among others), Microsoft.
Blizzard & Valve, In The Same Exhibition Hallway
Speaking of the genre, two Western companies made headway in promoting their respective upcoming and recent fares: Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm and Valve’s DOTA 2 (distributed by Nexon in the country). Both have dazzled the Korean media and gaming public with their showcases of locally-dubbed trailers, demo booths, and exhibition matches by tournament players. In case someone’s keeping score, Blizzard and Valve have never set up booths in any English-speaking trade show except during their own events. This shows both companies’ determination to keeping themselves in the limelight of Korean and Asian gamers.
Monster Hunter Fever
Japan company Capcom opted to show off their out-in-local-shelves 3DS title Monster Hunter 4 to South Korea in its effort to spread the good word of giant-slaying and weapons-building from dead monster parts one country at a time. It’s a fitting game for the market, as many Korean MMOs thrive due to a well-implemented grinding system and its multitude of post-game activities. Every iteration of the game sold gangbusters in Japan; hopefully the company’s gambit has paid off when it’s out in South Korea in 2014.
Tanks For The Memories
Not content with dominating the European and American grounds with World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, publisher and developer Wargaming are promoting their slew of military-themed action strategy games. At the same time, the publisher is also hosting high-level exhibition matches of the latest WoT update.
When All Else Fails, Opt For Girls and Giant Heads
If the photos before this paragraph aren’t of any indication by now, publishers and developers are pulling all the stops in getting the most attention from attendants. If they can’t do it with giant billboards and new game video, well, the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ comes to mind.
For more on G-Star 2013, check out Stuff.TV’s interview with Wargaming CEO Victor Kisyli and hands-on with Blizzard’s take on the MOBA genre.