TOKYO – One of the world’s leading gaming conventions is getting creative in the face of the coronavirus by offering a virtual version of the event, which kicks off Thursday in Japan.
The Tokyo Game Show hopes to draw gamers from around the world to its virtual sites – a sea fortress and a watchtower floating in the sky – which they can access through Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 VR headset or a browser on PC and smartphones.
The VR sites will serve as the experience for the game’s exhibit, which has been forced to go live for the second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Players can create their own avatars to navigate virtual spaces, visit exhibit booths of their favorite game makers, and interact with other people. They will be able to meet famous characters from the game and will have the chance to collect special items that will unlock exclusive information or the ability to change their avatars.
The game exhibit featured a regular online version of the event in 2020. But game developers and publishers had to rush to adapt to the new format, and many attendees were disappointed that they didn’t. got to try out new games, which has been a highlight of the show for decades.
Meanwhile, this year’s show is also hosting what it describes as its first-ever music festival, with a full orchestra performing tunes from iconic games such as the hit series Final Fantasy. Those who want to watch the event online will need to purchase a ticket.
In an effort to make the experience even more entertaining, the convention has also partnered with Japanese travel agency HIS to offer free online tours. Tour guides will visit the physical exhibition stands so that game enthusiasts can enjoy a simulated experience of actually being at the site.
Over 300 companies are joining this year’s event, showcasing their latest titles and technologies online. For developers, the event is an opportunity to meet and forge partnerships.
Like last year, the show collaborates again with Amazon Japan. The tech giant has created a dedicated page in its online marketplace where gamers can purchase new titles and products while watching live broadcasts from the developers.
The gaming industry has faced unprecedented demand in 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions have left people at home in need of entertainment.
The games market in Asia-Pacific is expected to grow 3% in 2021 to reach $ 88.2 billion, according to Dutch research firm Newzoo. He says the region will account for half of global gaming revenue.