Last week we attended ChinaJoy event in Shanghai, China with Drew Sikora over at GameDev.net. Running from July 23-28, the event includes a full expo complete with plenty of boothbabes and techno music, as well as China Game Developers Conference (CGDC).
Also included in the ChinaJoy event were the China Game Outsourcing Conference, China Game Business Conference, and the Business to Business Expo.
Our team has been to Shanghai in the past, but never to cover ChinaJoy at the New International Expo Center in the Pudong district, the facility which just opened up last July. Fresh paint aside, we were pleasantly surprised to find both the familiar and quite a bit of uniqueness from the event. Here is our rundown of the event through the three main days, July 25-27.
CGDC of ChinaJoy
The conference is situated in the very modern Kerry Hotel, a conveniently close location to the expo part of ChinaJoy just across the street. It is far enough away from the heavy traffic large expos typically produce, particularly ones in population congested China, and the more intiment conference. ChinaJoy kicked off which a morning ceremony that introduced the sponsors and others who helped produce the event. They also made mention of Events For Gamers and GameDev.net.
While it may annoy some, I found the extra security to be both efficient and comforting, even in a relatively smaller conference. This is something that China is known for in any industry, but in particular those that involve foreigners. Speaking of efficiency, the entire conference appeared quite well organized and had all the information you needed in the main entry areas, not shoved off in some deep pocketed pamphlet only available on the first day.
It was clear that CGDC caters to the International markets, both in our being invited to cover the event, but also evident by the thorough translation coverage of each session. Every room had a translation booth with each chair having a set of headphones that tap into the wireless frequency of the translaters furiously attempting to keep up.
If you are interested in which speakers we listened in to, click here for an overview list.
The New International Expo Center in Shanghai is as huge as event locations get in the game industry, rivaling the scale of events like E3 Expo in the United States, or in some ways even GamesCom in Germany. The grounds contain a total of over 20 huge halls, though ChinaJoy occupied only six of these. Of them the one is set off from the others slightly and contains more typical expo hall like booths showing wares from hardware giants like Nvidia, to game software company's like Blizzard.
The other five halls is where ChinaJoy takes a unique turn that really shows off what Asia is capable of when generating a massive marketing blitz campaign. Main entry (the only entrance actually from what we could tell) begins in hall N1 with each success hall up to N5 being accessed by the previous hall. This naturally assumes that hall N1 will have the most interesting displays and most people around, which was definitely the case when we visited.
Each of the five halls were huge for a good reason, as they needed to be to fit the over half dozen large stages setup in each. Each stage was typically comprised of a string of boothbabes coupled with a costumed actor showcasing a themed character from the product the booth was presenting. Loud music filled in the dancing of those on stage as the crowds cheered for the regular tossing of free swag and the next announcement of another product reveal.
Check out photos from ChinaJoy on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/eventsforgamers.
We were not quite sure what to expect when attending ChinaJoy, and had some severe reservations as to the capacity of the Asian game industry to produce something worth our attention, especially after our deep disappointment at attending Taipei Game Show in Taiwan back in 2008.
Fortunately, we came away both satisified that the event was as good as western ones, and had unique qualities like the unique stage exhibit hall that really showed there was still much more room for creativeness not just in developing games, but promoting them. We are eager to attend next year's event to give you a second and more in-depth overview!Written By: Mathew Anderson