With the start of a New Year, we have a whole new series of gaming conventions headed our way. We already know that Sony won’t be as present as they have been in other years, since they confirmed that they won’t be at E3 this year, just after they cancelled last year’s PlayStation Experience.
Where: San Antonio, TX (South); Boston, MA (East); Seattle, WA (West); Melbourne, Victoria (Australia). When: Jan 18-20 (South); Mar 28-31 (East); TBD (West); TBD (Australia). Prices vary for each convention
The Penny Arcade Expo is probably one of the biggest groups of gaming conventions you’ll find with more than four conventions every year, starting as early as mid-January in Texas, going to Boston in March, with the biggest event — PAX West — usually near the end of August in Seattle (and finishing the series in Australia at the end of October). Although we don’t know much about this year’s PAX events yet, the line-up for PAX South has Cory Barlog set to open the show as a Storytime Speaker. That’s a promising start to the year
2. Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
Where: Los Angeles, CA, USA When: Jun 11-13. Price: TBD.
Every year, this is the gaming event people wait for. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, along with countless other famous publishers and developers, announce games that people have been eagerly waiting for for years. It used to be an event for press and industry insiders only. Last year was the first year where the public could visit, and this year might be the last year it’ll be in the current venue, the Los Angeles Convention Center. On top of that, it’ll be the first year without Sony. It’ll be interesting to see how much of a hole is left by their absence.
Where: Jönköping, Sweden When: Jun 15-17; Dec 13-15. Price: 250 SEK a day (roughly $28), or 625 SEK for the whole festival (roughly $70). BYOC Tickets cost more.
DreamHack festivals are spread all over the world, with some in Europe, some in the USA, even having an event in Rio de Janeiro (and one recently finished event in Mumbai). It’s not a surprise seeing as it’s the largest festival for esports enthusiasts in the world. The biggest two are in Sweden in summer and in winter every year, where the three-day events boast a Bring Your Own Computer LAN, esports tournaments, cosplay, live music and more. The festival has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s largest LAN party, among other things, making it the place to be for esports fans.
Where: Cologne, Germany When: Aug 20-24. Price: TBD
Although this is basically the European version of E3, it’s different in that it’s always been open for people to visit. With countless games to try out from countless publishers, it’s no wonder that the convention is always packed. Last year, which marked the ten year anniversary of the convention, they had 370,000 visitors. The event is filled to the brim with talks and announcements from some of the biggest names in gaming, and unless Sony is cancelling their participation this year like with E3, it’ll be interesting to see what they do this year.
5. Tokyo Game Show
Where: Tokyo, Japan When: Sep 12-15. Price: TBD
If you’re a fan of JRPGs, obscure games that probably released on PS Vita or even just Street Fighter, you’ll love the Tokyo Game Show. The first two days are only open to industry attendees, whereas the last two days are open to the general public. They had an attendance of almost 300,000 people last year. It’s mainly for Japanese games, but you’ll find international video game releases here, too, with Microsoft having a fairly consistent presence at TGS in the past few years.
6. Eurogamer Expo (EGX)
Where: London, England When: Oct 17-20. Price: TBD
Although it moved to Birmingham last year, EGX is back in London again. It’s without a doubt the biggest gaming convention in the UK, and they even launched a branch in Berlin, Germany last year. EGX is all about getting to try new video games and so if you’re looking for a hands-on experience in a gaming convention, this is probably the one. They have cosplay and tournaments, too, proving to be the essential gaming expo in the UK.
7. Paris Games Week
Where: Paris, France When: TBD, end of October most likely Price: TBD
Paris Games Week is a massive gaming convention in France. In 2018, they had 316,000 visitors over five days. Last year’s event boasted brand new trailers for the likes of Bandai Namco’s Jump Force and EA’s Anthem. Paris Games Week is one of the biggest gaming events there is, on par with Gamescom and E3, as eyes are peeled for new announcements from some of the biggest publishers out there.
Where: Anaheim, CA, USA When: TBD, beginning of November most likely Price: TBD
BlizzCon is the place to be for Blizzard fans who want to see and try all the newest stuff in the realm of WoW, Diablo and Starcraft. Although many fans are still shaken from the disaster that was the Diablo Immortal reveal, it’ll be interesting to see what Blizzard will show the fans to tide them over again. With WoW Classic releasing this summer they have a lot of hype building, so you can only hope they don’t mess things up.
9. The Game Awards
Where: Los Angeles, CA, USA When: TBD Price: TBD
The Game Awards can easily be compared with the Oscars, except for one key difference. Here you can vote on what game you think deserves the award. Also, The Game Awards is not quite as fashionable, prestigious or paparazzi-worthy as the Oscars (yet?). Boasting new announcements, an industry icon, live music and, of course, the awards show responsible for many a meme, The Game Awards is not something you want to miss. If you can’t make it there, you can stream it.