EGX 2015: some exciting takeaways from the expo
EGX 2015 (Electronic Game Expo) held in Birmingham on September 24-27 has been a success and we would like to share some of the insights and takeaways we had picked up while participating.
First off, EGX 2015 as every previous expo, is organized by the gamers and for the gamers: the 75,000 or so people from all over Europe and beyond during the four days came to play two and a half dozens of the 200+ pre-release indie and AAA games presented at the show. As expected, the show floor was filled with game fans, cosplayers, but also featured presentations by game developers, discussions of the latest games and featured well-known eSports players trying out new titles live right on the conference floor (also broadcasted online on EGXs YouTube channel).
Every major gaming culture facet, it seems, had been represented. In the midst of all the excitement, however, we did notice the following:
Takeaway 1: The Rise of the Indie Studios
While the major PC and console brands like Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s Playstation, Ubisoft and Nintendo were predictably in full force at the show, a large number of independent studios were attracting a significant share of attention from the expo visitors. The Indie Megabooth housed a large number of indie titles, with several studios sharing exhibit space and representing several titles at once.
Indie developers are not only here to stay, they are getting more ambitious, creative and have their own loyal fan base. Established game publishers should take note and look for ways to forge alliances.
Takeaway 2: Virtual Reality Still a Question Mark
While the major tech brands all have dabbled in virtual reality (and its cousin, augmented reality) taking the technology mainstream still seems like a long-term challenge that’s far from certain. Undoubtedly the “registration required” signup queues show that consumers are very interested in the technology. Yet the technology still seems fragmented, with many incompatible standards, and therefore, no committed game developers. This feeds into the vicious cycle of few games translating into low consumer demand for the hardware.
VR is likely to have a great future in store, but with so many question marks now is not the time to dive headlong into the still-emerging business area.
Takeaway 3: Unity for All at EGX 2015
Everyone who isn’t proficient with Unity seems to be in various stages learning it. The Unity game engine in quickly replacing Flash as an entry-level technology of choice for game developers of all stripes. Due to its simplicity, modularity and operability across all key gaming platforms (console included), Unity has finally proven itself as the dominant games industry technology, mobile or otherwise.
Since Outsoft offers Unity game development teams on demand and on a long-term basis, getting access to Unity resources that cost less yet still do the job (while keeping costs in check) has been a hot discussion topic.
What’s next for gaming? We have many bright memories of game presentations from EGX 2015, but the elephant on the expo floor was the shift to mobile gaming, and all the mixed feelings this trend is receiving. As mobile gaming takes most new gaming industry revenue, this field is bound to take the center stage during the conferences to come, with established brands seeking to expand there and many new players emerging.