TOKYO, Sept. 24 – Once the premier industry event, the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) has been increasingly overshadowed by global competitors in recent years. But as the epidemic pushes it offline, some see an opportunity for renewal.
Opened online yesterday, the show features Japanese video games and is still regularly erupted by enthusiastic gamers, attracting 250,000 people since 2013.
But as its star has faded into the industry, most of Japan’s top developers prefer to debut elsewhere among the new opportunities.
“TGS has been on a downward trend for the last 10 to 15 years,” said Serkan Toto, an analyst at Kantan Games in Tokyo.
Part of that is the result of a decline in the dominance of Japanese gaming companies, he told AFP.
TGS was started in 1996 and was an unpredictable industry event in the early 2000s. But it has seen its leader position steadily decline through sportscom competition at E3 in Los Angeles in June and Cologne in August.
With the growing importance of the American and European gaming markets, Gamescom now attracts more visitors than its competitors and is a favorite destination for new products.
“The weird thing about TGS is that it seems to grow for the number of people who participate every year. “But breaking news and content, it’s at a turning point,” said Brian Ashcraft, who writes for expert site Kotku and has covered TGS for 15 years.
TGSA is more focused on the domestic market, offering most of its content only in Japanese.
“Over the last two years, it has become increasingly clear that TGS was looking inwards rather than being an international show,” Toto said.
Yasuyuki Yamaji, secretary general of the Lead Association that runs TGS, said that every September, before the holiday shopping season, “TGS allows visitors to try out games” that have been announced elsewhere.
“People also come for the atmosphere, to watch the competition of sports, cosplay (dressed as characters), or have fun with their family,” he told AFP.
The epidemic makes most of that impossible, but TGS organizers are hoping that taking the show online can also increase their audience in Japan and abroad.
Typically, “70 to 80 percent of visitors come from Tokyo and surrounding areas,” Yamaji said.
But, naline, “limits on space, distance and time disappear”.
This year’s show’s schedule runs late into the night in Japan, giving people from far-flung areas the opportunity to watch e-sports battles and sports performances.
Many presentations will also be given in English and Chinese with the Japanese, and some games will be available for play online, although regional availability restrictions may pose challenges.
Still, some major releases have not been released on TGS this year.
Microsoft .ft, which accounts for only 0.25 percent of its Xbox One sales in Japan, will be on TGS but will not release its new console.
And Sony, which un-unveiled its new PlayStation 5 last week, is leaving TGS together this year.
Nintendo, whose games and switch consoles dominated the Japanese market in 2019, will have a rare presence on the TGS.
Organizers say this year’s event could inspire a permanent constitutional change.
“We want to be able to do a hybrid physical event that retains the benefits of T-Line TGS, such as distance performances,” Yamaji said.
Whether attracting a wider international audience will convince industry players that TGS is once again the place to launch new products remains to be seen.
But in a very short time, the epidemic is beginning to innovate in a format that has changed little in recent years.
Yamaji noted that half of this year’s exhibitors are non-Japanese, making for a “more global TGS.”
“I think next year it will be interesting because it will be, ‘What’s really important?’ Ashcraft said.
“What can they show digitally? What can they do face to face? I think this year will give them a good barometer for that. “- AFP-RelaxNews
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