Back for the 6th iteration, GameStart 2019 returns to the Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre to bringing all things gaming as it continues its journey to be South-East Asia’s Premier gaming event. The POPCulture Online team wakes up earlier than usual on a weekend to check out the event.
On Board the Esports Hype Train
Esports continues its upwards hype trend and here at GameStart 2019, we continue to see many booths and big names dedicated to it. Just by entering the event halls, attendees are greeted with a big bright Marvel booth showcasing their first MOBA game on mobile, Marvel Super War.
Beast of the East also returns with the SEA Major, taking up a good portion of the event space and in sync with the Asian theme for this year’s GameStart 2019. From Tekken to Street Fighter and Super Smash bros, the activity remained high throughout the day as friends and virtual foes alight cheered on as battle rages on in the virtual realm.
The event also saw big names showcasing their latest hardware running popular Esports titles. Asus teamed up with My Republic with games such as League of Legends while Armaggeddon showcased their latest gaming rig with a Tekken competition.
Welcome to the Poison Zone
GameStart has always been an event that is “poisonous” to the wallet and this year’s event is no different. Starting off with Doujin Market with booths selling fan art and key chains to the Gaming apparel brand J!NX bringing limited quantities of their Blizzard, Minecraft and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS merchandise to the GameStart store, many wallets underwent an extensive weight loss program here.
Long time support of GameStart Asia, Armaggeddon, also had a booth selling very affordable gaming gear. Aimed at the budget segment, this is the brand to go for if you are looking to upgrade from your stock peripherals to something better without breaking the bank. Recently launching new products in the laptop and gaming pc and monitor segment, this is one brand we all wished was around when we were poor students that cannot justify $300 for a gaming keyboard.
Rule the Tabletop
A staple in recent years’ events, tabletop gaming returns to GameStart this year with Dungeons & Dragons bringing players to the fantasy realm full of adventure, treasure and danger. Locally produced boardgames also make an appearance with “The Great Singaporean Sale” among the many others.
For those looking for something with more action, Throw Throw Burrito by Exploding Kittens was also present with the warning that burritos do not discriminate. Thankfully none of the POPCulture Online team were hurt in the process of watching attendees slug it out inside the specially constructed “arena”.
Bring out the Big Games
This year’s GameStart Asia also saw big titles brought in to give attendees a taste of big gaming convention overseas such as Final Fantasy VII Remake and Cyberpunk 2077. With queues longer then the booths themselves and the Final Fantasy VII Remake hands on slots all taken up before lunch, there is no better indication that local gamers are hungry for more content.
* Hint Hint Gamescom next year! *
Welcome to Singapore
As Elicia shared at the media preview, one good thing about running her own event is that she gets to invite guest to GameStart. This year sees Tokita Takashi and Ryutaro Sasaki of Oninaki fame and violinist Luna Lorrain grace the event.
Sharing at the media preview, Tokita Takashi recounted that the two most memorable games he has worked on include the first game he has worked on, Live A Live (a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Famicom) and his latest game, Oninaki.
When asked about which battle system he prefers to work with (turn based or active time), he shared that he has no preference as both has its own merits. Instead, he looks at which best suits the gameplay and how he can add on to it. An example would be how Final Fantasy VII Remake battle system is a mixed with both battle system types.
Thanks for the Memories
This year’s GameStart Asia is also going to be the final Singapore edition as Eliphant will be handing over the reins to Gamescom Asia next year. Looking at how GameStart Asia grew from an event with about 12,000 attendees occupying 1 hall to occupying 3 halls now with exclusive previews from the latest titles, it’s incredible how far one woman’s dream can go.
Thank you Elicia and the Eliphant team for giving us GameStart Asia. For a long time this side of the world never had a gaming event till GameStart came along and it has been a great 6 events.
We definitely look forward to next year knowing that Eliphant will be working with Koelnmesse on Gamescom Asia!
Photo Credits: Alex Tan, Ken Koh & Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2019