Singapore – As the Asia Pacific remains the largest overall region for gaming, estimated to take in $72.2 billion in 2019, and esports to be featured as a medal sport at the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games – the gaming ecosystem is abuzz with interest. All eyes are on GameStart Asia, Singapore’s largest and longest-running gaming event, that is held on 12 and 13 October at Suntec Convention Centre. Fans at the two-day event, were treated to booths and exhibits, e-sports tournaments and previews of upcoming games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Blazblue Cross Tag Battle: Special Edition, as well as appearances by celebrity cosplayers.
From humble beginnings of hosting 12,000 visitors in its inaugural edition in 2014, GameStart Asia has since welcomed 100,000 gamers, esports athletes and cosplayers over its 5-year history. SEA MAJOR, which has called GameStart home since 2016, returns as host to some of the world’s most prestigious fighting game tournaments. 2018’s edition of SEA MAJOR saw over 400 participants, with online engagement on Twitch alone reaching 25 million (minutes watched), with 2.6 million video plays on 1.6 million devices. GameStart today is Southeast Asia’s premier gaming event, having forged long term partnerships with renowned platforms including Taipei Game Show (Taiwan), Busan Indie Connect (BIC) Festival (Korea), Game Prime Asia (Indonesia) and BitSummit (Japan) to connect passionate local and international gaming communities.
This year’s theme is “Asian Mythology”, where visitors experienced new and exciting content that include showcases of the latest blockbuster games, esports, indie games, tabletop gaming, cosplay and appearances by special guests from various games industry segments. There’s also a Doujin Market that feature Japanese anime artwork, accessories and fan creations.
SEA MAJOR (SEAM) 2019, the largest fighting game tournament in Asia, returns to GameStart 2019 bigger and better, with top players from around the world. It hosts two major events – the Asia Regional Finals for Capcom World Tour (Street Fighter V), and the Finals of the inaugural SOULCALIBUR Asia League. Some of the world’s top players will be participating, including Daigo “The Beast” Umehara (Japan) and Kayane (France).
Fans get up close to performances by industry talents, as they get to meet and appreciate their skills and insights in GameStart 2019. From veteran game producers to talented musicians and creatives such as,
- Veteran Producer from Square Enix and Creative Producer of Tokyo RPG Factory, Takashi Tokita, presented his new game, ONINAKI, on the mainstage with huge fanfare. In addition, he talks about his 30+ years of experience in game development.
- Violinist Luna Lorrain, in Singapore for the first time, performed her renditions of beloved game and anime songs on the GameStart Main Stage. She has performed in some of the biggest ACG (anime, comic and game) events in Southeast Asia.
- Digital Artist and Illustrator Richard Suwono is a huge fan of fighting games and known for his unique art style, often depicting characters from fighting game franchises. Fans get to meet him at the SEA MAJOR zone, as well as purchase 2 exclusive T-shirt designs by Richard for GameStart 2019 and SEA MAJOR 2019.
- Taiwanese pianist, V.K., is best known for his compositions for Deemo, a successful music game developed by Rayark.
“GameStart will hand over the reigns to gamescom asia in Singapore, and work closely with Koelnmesse Singapore to build on the current gaming community that we have established over the years. When we started in 2014, my team and I set out to put Singapore and Southeast Asia on the map for gaming. The partnership is an exciting milestone and I’d like to think that what we’ve done and achieved has helped create this opportunity, no matter how small a part we’ve played,” said Elicia Lee, Founder of GameStart Asia.
Overall, it’s a great event with more focus on game experience zones, there’s plenty of nice photo backdrops opportunities, Japanese game producer feature and strong esports element. It’s also pleasant to see Taiwanese Internet music composer Vanros Kloud, also known as V.K performing on the main stage. He composed magnificent pieces for many popular rhythm games, such as Deemo and Cytus. We also enjoyed one of the event’s attraction called ‘The Castle’, it’s a themed adventure room game experience created and available exclusively at GameStart 2019. Gamers can gather a party of 4 (or join a group), select from two story-based routes, and embark on their chosen clan’s mission to defeat the sealed demon within the abandoned castle.
About GameStart Asia
GameStart Asia is Singapore’s largest gaming event and has gained the reputation as a premier gaming convention in Southeast Asia since its debut in 2014. Organised by Eliphant Pte Ltd, the convention seeks to bring everything gaming-related to audiences in Asia, and has also been host to SEA MAJOR, Southeast Asia’s largest fighting game tournament, since 2016. In addition to showcasing the latest games and exclusives, GameStart is also a keen supporter of local gaming and pop culture communities, from cosplay to indie developers and artists, and aims to be a platform for them to reach new audiences and potential community members. www.gamestart.asia.