The THG team made their event debut last weekend, at EGX 2017.
The biggest gaming expo in the UK, the event attracts over 75,000 every year and showcases some the biggest developers in the industry.
This year, titles like Call of Duty WW2, Far Cry 5, Mario: Odyssey and South Park: The Fractured But Whole were all on offer. There was also a Destiny showdown with Youtuber Ali-A and plenty of indie developers showcasing their newest and best titles.
But we did not have a good time.
What’s It Like at EGX?
Having never been to a convention like this before, we were all pretty taken aback by the sheer volume of people. When you watch videos of ComicCon, you see armies of people stuffed into a massive, USA-scale convention centre. At EGX, armies of people were packed into a warehouse.
The first thing we experienced is shock. We didn’t quite expect EGX to be so chaotic.
But like the little soldiers we are, we powered on, determined to get some great coverage for you, the THG readers. As you may have noticed though, there isn’t a whole lot EGX coverage on the website, except for looks at Assassin’s Creed: Origins and an upcoming Far Cry 5 article.
Considering the sheer volume of games on show, how did we manage such a small amount coverage? Well we made our second mistake: we went for the AAA titles.
We thought EGX would be very much geared towards showcasing games and promoting them. But no, EGX is actually more like a theme park for new games. For the biggest developers, this is all about letting gamers ‘have a ride’. But, like a theme park, the waits were bloody insane.
After 3 hours of EGX, we’d managed to get in those two plays of Far Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed. We then attempted to queue for Mario: Odyssey, a much-requested title the THG community wanted us to cover, but discovered that my train would leave before we ever even got a chance to play — and this was an hour and half before I was due to leave.
In our last hour, unable to get into anything because we’d just queue to be disappointed, we started to explore other parts of the show, and this is where we realised our mistakes.
Lessons from the EGX Floor
EGX is a madhouse of gaming fandom.
There are so many people around, all clammering to play something new or different. Like most others, we were drawn to the biggest and shiniest things on the show floor, but that wasn’t what we should have been doing.
In the deepest, darkest corners of the convention centre, we found gems in the form of indie titles we’d never heard of. We saw fantastic cosplayers and got to try out a few smaller titles. We didn’t have to wait around for hours for a 10-minute slice of play. We could dive in, talk to developers and really get involved in the EGX experience.
Too late we realised that it was here we should have been all along. Not trying the games we’ll be playing in a few months anyway, but experiencing a corner of the gaming world rarely ever touched upon by the masses.
An Honest Summary of EGX
EGX is a brilliant and terrible place.
It’s terrible if you want to go and learn more about upcoming titles and experience the biggest games on the market, or the latest tech. It is just too heavily crowded to get any enjoyment out of it. You won’t be blown away by the new Far Cry game if you’ve spent over an hour waiting to try it. No game is going to revolutionise your world that much.
What EGX is brilliant for is discovering new developers, testing out smaller titles, trying out new gaming genres and meeting members of the gaming community. Unfortunately, we discovered this too late.
It’s also worth noting EGX is not like ComicCon or the big US conventions. You won’t find masses of enthusiastic gamers and a hyped up environment. The vibe is much more chilled out and reserved.
You know, British.
This is our honest takeaway from our day at EGX. Don’t be a magpie. Ignore that AAA title. It isn’t worth your time. Get into the indie games, the lesser-known titles. Sample a bit of everything. Watch a talk, meet a cosplayer, talk to an indie developer. There was so much to do at EGX 2017 but, distracted by the big names, we accomplished sweet-FA in our 5 hours on the floor.
If you go next year. Or to another gaming expo in the near future, don’t be like us.
Looking for more misguided gaming content? We’ve got heaps! Check out our gaming page for some honest articles.