Gamers were given a visual treat, as well as the first time an event gets to flesh out fully as a games-dominant event. SGCafe lists down Licence2Play‘s great achievements and some peeves we scoured.
Here are some of our likes and gripes of Singapore Press Holdings’ gaming event.
1) Games, games, and games!
Gamers will truly feel at home here. Tournaments of all shapes and sizes happen concurrently, be it First Person Shooters, Real Time Strategy, or even Fighting games. Even better, you get to experience card gaming as well at Bushiroad’s Cardfight! Vanguard booth. New beta releases such as Avatar Star, Ragnarok Online 2 and Starcraft II: Heart of Swarm got loads of exposure, and had many people trying their hands on it. The biggest eye candy with both games and babes will be wargaming.net’s booth, which featured World of Planes.
2) watch out for the many fringe activities to get awesome SWAG
That’s right, tons of swag to get at L2P, and it ranges from lucky draws at the Blizzard booth (beautiful posters, really) to beta game CDs to install into your own PC! Not to mention many ladies out there trying their hands to get the Poring plush toys at the Ragnarok Online 2 booth. And also, you can legally ‘stalk’ pretty ladies, when booth babes at the wargaming.net booth walked around the hall as well as the area outside to lead the contingent of followers (and lechers? Heh heh) to the final pit stop.
3) Not just about games…
Cosgames were held at L2P once again, with Japanese cosplayers Martha Asashi and Ginga ION taking time off from their busy schedules to attend the event. Since SGCafe is involved, we are proud to be able to support awesome cosplayers, especially with Martha’s superb rendition of Major Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex and Ginga ION of her Shikinami Asuka plugsuit from Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0!
Many band performances were going on stage, not to mention great DJ performances from DJ ToMU, head instructor of Show Ning DJ Lab. Many people were grooving to the beat during their performances – it’s like having an in-house club at L2P!
4) You can buy some merchandise at insanely slashed prices
If you haven’t gotten your hands on any of the Blizzard games, they were having massive discounts on World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and even their upcoming pre-order of the Heart of Swarm had a pretty good discount, of up to 30%. Play Imaginative had very cute piggy banks and Oyako Tofu plush toys that where more than 80% off! You can literally buy multiples of those plush toys in exchange with a meal at Marina Bay Sands food court.
There are freebies as well, like noms from Kit Kat and coffee from Nescafe! There, you have your caffeine fix at L2P.
1) Spare me ears!
L2P occupied only 3/4 of Hall E, and at that distance, even if the main performance stage is placed right at the back, it was bound to interfere with the speakers from wargaming.net and Blizzard booths. Every other booth blasted announcements and music, which made the experience of the event more uncomfortable than it should. Talking to your friends just next to you requires some effort already.
2) Reinforcements have arrived…?
Cosplayers, who are always the attracting factor of any anime or games-related event, only appeared on Saturday. Cosplayers mostly appeared either very early or very late on Sunday, as EOY was happening at Marina Barrage, with no entrance fee to speak of.
The crowd was pretty good only on that day – a convention for the public on a Friday was quite bad, especially one where you need to pay to get in. PC Shows and stuff aside, not enough visual treats were present in L2P, though we were mighty impressed with the main gaming booths.
3) Japanese games need some love too
There’s a East meets West competition segment at L2P, and we wondered why the same thing couldn’t apply for games. We are pretty sure that Namco Bandai can feature more Japanese games, especially for games like Super Robot Wars. More tournaments can be had as well, like score attack for single-player modes.
4) Where’s all the information?
The many fringe activities were all blaring from the microphones and speakers from the stage, so much so that all of the announcements turn into noise, because the venue was too small for the sound to be effective at attracting the crowd. As a result, we have to rely only on visual guides and information, or try asking a booth attendee.
So how did Licence2Play fair in our books?
The event sure can use a bit more content to attract crowds, and could do a wee better job at engaging the online gamers market – through online means. Have more areas to see and do, not to mention buy. Many things the public couldn’t enjoy as it wasn’t obvious enough for them to pick up all the wonderful swag and prizes. All in all, it’s a good start for a more commercialized gaming event, and definitely more interesting than similar gaming events over the past year.
It scored a respectable 65%, and we felt there is a lot of potential waiting to be tapped on. It does target heavily on gamers, yet we feel more can be done. Nevertheless, it’s a great improvement from last year.