The gaming industry has skyrocketed in the past decade, and with it, so have gaming conventions. As new games, systems, and technology are released, we have the urge to try them out first-hand. Gaming conventions allow us to take a look at what’s to come before the wider audience has.
As the gaming industry progresses, we see no shortage of top gaming conventions. Havens for gamers, these conventions bring in crowds in their thousands and huge investments. Last year saw 15-year-old Jaden Ashman win nearly one million dollars following the Fortnite World Cup gaming convention in the US! Gaming has become big money and with tournaments on Olympic levels.
With a long list of gaming conventions around the world, it’s hard to pick the best. Of course, your console type, preferred game genre, and gaming style will impact which convention you want to attend. In this article, we will cover 10 of the biggest gaming conventions around the world to help you decide which one will be your next.
Gaming conventions are gatherings of like-minded game enthusiasts that are usually held over 2 or 3 days. The specific game topic differs from event to event including video games, role-play, card games, board games, and so on. We will specifically be looking at some of the best gaming conventions and biggest gaming events in the world.
Inside game conventions, there are all matters of events and activities. Panels can be doing Q&A for a new game release. Or, you could have the opportunity to test out that new game. Maybe the new Xbox is coming out and you want a peek before everyone else. Or maybe you just want to be surrounded by fellow gamers! Whatever your reasons, major gaming events are like the Mecca to gamers, and rightfully so.
Now that we’ve touched on what game conventions are, it’s time to start our top 10.
When looking through some of the largest gaming conventions around, it’s hard to pinpoint a few as the best.
We’ve tried to pick a good variety in gaming focus and ones that have significantly impacted the gaming community. Let’s dive straight in!
Spiel has a different focus than most of the other options on this list. It is mainly a board game convention held in Germany. Running for 38 years, this is the largest board games fair in the world. Showcasing thousands of the latest board games, Spiel attracts huge crowds eager to get their hands on the latest games.
Despite having less of a focus on video games, Spiel still brings in crowds of 209,000 people during their main event in 2019. With such huge attendance, this game’s convention deserves a spot on this list as much as any. Like many other conventions, Spiel held its first digital event last year with 400 exhibits from 41 nations.
The largest convention held in the UK, the previously known Eurogamer expo in London offers everything a gamer could want. Not limited to certain genres or game styles, EGX offers exhibitions that would intrigue any gamer. Whether you want to try a new game or get out your cosplay, this event is for you.
EGX will be welcoming fans back this year with the dates already set for October. They are also planning their spinoff convention, EGX Rezzed, focused on PC and indie games that were added to their main event in 2013.
ChinaJoy sees smaller crowds than many of the conventions on this list but is still a prominent option. With so many huge game companies and creators being based in Asia and specifically China, it is impossible to not consider multiple Asia-based conventions as the best in the world. Despite not being as big in attendance, this convention sees some of the biggest names in the industry.
Also known as the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference, this is still the largest games convention held in Asia. Being one of the most celebrated digital entertainment events in the world, ChinaJoy hosts a series of exhibitions not limited to gaming. Such as art, literature, and music. Showcasing some of the latest technologies in the whole entertainment industry, this event attracts technophiles and gamers alike.
Blizzcon is a convention to showcase all the upcoming Blizzard Entertainment work. Including iconic games such as Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo, this event attracts devoted fans. Despite only showing the world of one company, BlizzCon still brings in crowds of 40,000 people.
Held in California, BlizzCon is famous for holding ending concerts featuring some huge names along with its video game conference. Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Tenacious D, and Linkin Park to name a few have all played the event’s featured concerts. Their concerts are enough to bring in crowds of thousands gaining them a reputation for hosting the best non-gaming entertainment alongside the convention.
Dreamhack is held annually all over the world with its largest event being held in Sweden. Generally, this event is perceived as an eSports gaming convention despite this not being its sole focus. Other major companies like Nintendo and Ubisoft can of course still be found holding exhibits at Dreamhack.
Dreamhack is known for having the world’s largest LNA party and computer festival with the fastest internet speed! Now that’s simply enough to bring in thousands of eager gaming competitors. The event also sees a broad variety of activities with live concerts and digital arts competitions.
Always open to the general public, Gamescon is one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world. Held in Germany, this cherished convention attracts hundreds of thousands of international attendees. Often compared to E3, Gamescon presents some of the biggest and best names in the industry.
With 1,037 exhibitions on offer at this event, this is a gamer’s dream. Having the opportunity to see the latest advancements in the gaming industry from around the world attracts 370,000 people to Gamescon. Like many other conventions, this event will be held digitally this year due to the pandemic.
Gamescon is also one of the biggest cosplay events in the world attracting many fans for that single reason. With other conventions not being as open to dedicated cosplay fans, Gamescon is a fan favorite of many.
The Tokyo Game Show is indeed one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world. This Japanese publisher-focused event sees crowds of 270,00 people! Running over four days, the first 2 are not open events, exclusive to industry professionals. The second 2 are open to the public and are much-loved events by my gaming fans across the world.
In 2016, 614 companies had exhibits at the Tokyo Game Show. The variety in industry names and competitors is what makes this convention so attractive. The largest area of this event is the General Exhibition. This is where any related products to digital gaming entertainment are showcased.
Starting out as the Penny Arcade Expo, Pax is a renowned gaming convention that has a different focus from others. Instead of showcasing all the new major console games and latest technologies, Pax has a focus on tabletop, independent, and arcade games. Held usually in different locations across America, Pax brings in crowds of around 70,000 people. Created in 2003, the convention has grown massively in 18 years from its original 3,300 attendees.
Famously, the Pax gaming convention schedule features an event called the Omegathon. An event of randomly selected attendees to compete in a tournament for a grand prize. Becoming a well-known event in its own right, Omegathon rounds up the Pax gaming festivities and can have competitors playing anything from Halo to Tetris.
The Brazil Games Show strongly deserves a spot on this list being the biggest in the world. Being such a big show, this convention is very varied and offers something for everyone. Having a large focus on showcasing kickstarters and developers new to the scene, this convention is an amazing opportunity for those trying to build their way up in the industry.
With an attendance of around 300,000 people, this convention claims the title of biggest in the world. Now held in São Paulo, Marcelo Tavares first ran the event originally in Rio de Janeiro in 2009. Growing by 296,000 people in 12 years, the Brazil Games Show is also one of the fastest-growing in the whole world.
Being the largest convention whilst also showcasing work from people newer to the industry makes this event not only extremely popular, but very respectable. Despite focusing on smaller and newer names, this convention still brings in crowds more than any other. Its originality and scale make it one of the best video game conventions in the world.
Running for 26 years, the electronic entertainment expo is held annually in Los Angeles. Attracting audiences of over 60,000 people and showcasing some of the best and newest technology in the industry. For a time, E3 was an invitation-only event bringing in companies to present the latest games and gaming systems. Now that the event is open to the public, this video game expo has become one of the fastest-growing in the whole world.
E3 is renowned for being the place to be for anyone who is anyone in the gaming industry. This elite event has attracted global fans since it became public in 2018. Developers, publishers, and manufacturers are the focus of E3. With a large conference held at the end to announce all the upcoming titles, systems, and technologies.
E3 reinvented gaming conventions. As the gaming industry started to grow in the early 90s, professionals felt the conventional gaming conventions were dated. Furthermore, with a lack of opportunity for video games, a new convention needed to be conceived, and E3 was born!
Whether your passion is cosplay, board games, or video games, there is a gaming convention out there for you!
Often with typical gamers being slightly judged by society, these conventions are a safe space for like-minded people to express themselves and have fun. Attracting hundreds of thousands of people, the demand for gaming conventions and how passionate many people are about the industry is evident.
Since the first-ever video games were released, gaming conventions have increasingly stated their claim within the industry. Once known by non-gamers as ‘nerdy’ events, these conventions have become tributes to technology and sources of economic growth. 15-year-old Jaden Ashman is evidence of this winning just under one million dollars playing Fortnite.
Gamers are swapping their bedroom monitors for international stages and we’re here for every minute of it. We can’t wait to get back to our much-loved conventions after a tough year of cancelations in 2020.
Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our articles? We recommend our review of the Best Nintendo Switch Games, our Blackbird Interactive Review and guide on How To Make Music For Video Games to get you started!
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