SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 3 October 2019 - 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, as organiser Eliphant unveils a series of announcements for its sixth edition, GameStart 2019 (#GameStart2019), to be held on 12 and 13 October at Suntec Convention Centre.
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, BIC Fest, Game Prime Asia and BitSummit to connect passionate local and international gaming communities.
With the theme "Asian Mythology", visitors can gear up to 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. The event is today recognised as an important platform for brands and game publishers to announce and showcase new and upcoming products to consumers. Organisers confirmed that several announcements and product launches will again be hosted at GameStart 2019, with details to be shared closer to date.
Hot Favourites alongside Growth Areas
For the first time, visitors will get to enjoy The Castle, 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 find the sealed demon within the abandoned castle.
The new GameStart Demo Zone will host new and upcoming games on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch consoles, including Tokyo RPG's latest title, ONINAKI, Ubisoft's Just Dance 2020, and other games which will be announced closer to the event days.
Publishers Marvel, Bandai Namco Entertainment Asia, Arc System Works and Square Enix will also showcase games at the event.
Returning favourites include:
The popular Tabletop Zone - The global board games market is a niche sector that has quietly seen astronomical growth in the last 3 to 4 years and is on track to be worth US$12 billion by 2023. The Tabletop Zone has seen strong growth in attendees since it was first introduced at GameStart 2017. Local and international exhibitors, including Moaideas from Taiwan and Asobi, a concept store for hobby enthusiasts, who will bring "Fate/Grand Order -collection figure-" will be at the convention. The Open Gaming area will have a selection of games for the uninitiated to try tabletop games led by Game Masters. Pre-registration for the free sessions is available at https://event.gamestart.asia/exhibitors/open-gaming/. A haven for artists and the creative scene, Doujin Market x GameStart 2019 is a collaboration with the largest artist convention in the region, and provides artists from SEA the chance to showcase and sell their creations to visitors. For the fourth year running, Doujin Market - Doujima x GameStart Artist Alley returns to make art accessible to video game fans, while providing local and regional creators an opportunity to showcase their work. Over 40 creators will showcase some of the very best video game-inspired artwork, accessories and fan creations. Some of Asia's best indie developers, including those from Myanmar and China, will gather at Founders Base to showcase their work, in addition to Gamestart's partners - Taipei Game Show (Taiwan), Busan Indie Connect (BIC) Festival (Korea), Game Prime Asia (Indonesia) and BitSummit (Japan).
Journey alongside Top Esports Athletes
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 will host 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).
Organisers hinted that a special announcement by a game publisher is expected to be made during the tournaments. Registration for SEA MAJOR will end on 8 October.
Other tournaments include:
Organised by FIFA veteran Xtr3me3 and Eliphant, the annual GameStart 2019: FIFA 20 Championship returns this year with a prize pool worth SGD 3,500, sponsored by MyRepublic GAMER and Armaggeddon. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and League of Legends tournaments under the MyRepublic Gamer tournament series.Pixel Battle Ultimate Challenge - a fun challenge for GameStart's own mobile game which received a big content update in August 2019. Daily winners will take home a Secretlab gaming chair and GameStart swag.
First wave of guests announced
Get up close and personal with industry talents in the gaming community, as visitors will get to meet and appreciate their skills and insights in GameStart 2019. From veteran game producers to talented musicians and creatives, be inspired by Asia's best in the gaming industry.
Organisers announced their first wave of guests, including (Please refer to the Annex for their bios):
Veteran Producer from Square Enix and Creative Producer of Tokyo RPG Factory, Takashi Tokita, will present his new game, ONINAKI, on the GameStart Main Stage on 12 October. In addition, he will hold a special session to talk about his 30+ years of experience in game development. Attendees will have a chance to ask him questions in a more intimate setting. Limited seats are available for this session, and those keen to attend can register at http://bit.ly/gs19ss. Violinist Luna Lorrain, in Singapore for the first time, will perform 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 will 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 games. He will be performing on the GameStart Main Stage on 12 October.
Riiyuukii Cosplay will be making appearances at GameStart as Alyse, the GameStart mascot. Up-and-coming model Yuuno will also appear as a new Nemesis character to Alyse.
Weary gamers can replenish their HP and MP, or celebrate their victories at The Sanctuary. Curated by home-grown mead company Lion City Meadery, six delectable food stalls, a range of award-winning mead (a familiar drink in many Role-playing Games), and a selection of craft beer from Canadian Craft Beer, will be well-stocked to fill tummies and quench the thirst.
The Sanctuary is conveniently located close to the Tabletop Zone, so players can enjoy food and drink while they contemplate their next move. Attractive prizes await the bold who complete quest cards by performing various activities at selected booths, with Armaggeddon returns as the Official Quest Sponsor.
Sponsors and partners of GameStart 2019 include Twitch (Official Live Stream Platform), MyRepublic (Official Fibre Broadband Partner), Monster Energy (Official Energy Drink), Lion City Meadery (Preferred Alcohol Partner) and XSplit (Official Live Stream Software).
Levelling Up - The Next Chapter
In May 2019, GameStart Asia announced its partnership with the inaugural gamescom asia, to be held in Singapore in 2020, to jointly curate an all-rounded gaming experience. This October, gamescom asia will be exhibiting at GameStart 2019.
"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.
"For now, the team is hard at work putting the finishing touches to GameStart 2019, with special announcements and activities lined up to thank the community - fans and partners alike - with the best experience ever. We hope that everyone can come and join us," Elicia added.
More information and the latest updates on GameStart 2019 are available on www.gamestart.asia, and www.facebook.com/GameStart.Asia.
Venue: Suntec Convention Centre Halls 401 -- 403 Singapore
Event Dates: 12 & 13 October 2019
VIP Ticket Holders: 10am -- 9pm General Public: 11am -- 9pm
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.