It is now 1800hrs here in Thailand and I have just spent the day walking around the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok exploring all the nooks and crannies of the Thailand Game Show.
Though the scale isn’t as huge as another TGS (I’m talking about the Tokyo Game Show), it’s still a sizeable area that’s filled wall to convention wall with games and geeky stuff.
Honestly, I never thought I’d be doing this which is why it’s so awesome that Bandai Namco decided to sponsor us this year and bring us over to the land of smiles to cover the event.
Everything, from room to transport, they handled!
Thanks a ton guys, I really appreciate you guys hooking us up to cover the show, especially since The Technovore’s one of only a handful of regional media invited to do so.
Having covered major expos like the Tokyo Game Show and gamescom asia, the Thailand Game Show comes off as a more subdued affair. That’s perhaps not helped by the timing; it’s running concurrently with gamescom asia in Singapore (which Sky will be covering).
It doesn’t take a huge leap to see why then that most of the major gaming big guns are missing from the event. Bandai Namco, Riot Games, miHoYo and SEGA notwithstanding, other major big hitters like Activision Blizzard, Microsoft and Sony are MIA because most of them are holding court at gamescom asia.
Admittedly, that does take some of the pomp out of the Thailand Game Show, but that just opens up the floor to more regional and independent companies to shine.
Honestly, I’ve played more indie games at the Thailand Game Show than at any other expo I’ve attended (and I’ve attend a LOT). There’s even a Korean delegation space that’s filled with games from Korea. The lovable The Secret of Cat Island (which I saw at the Tokyo Game Show in September) is sadly MIA this time around, which makes me sad.
Big names are still represented though, with booths to match their (financial) prowess.
Bandai Namco dominates with their huge booth space that’s hawking One Piece Odyssey, SD Gundam Battle Alliance, Dragon Ball: The Breakers, Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival, Pac-Man World Re-Pac and Ace Angler: Fishing Spirits.
On top of that, the company also brought with it tons of Gundam models (SD ones to complement SD Gundam Battle Alliance) and One Piece figures.
There’s even a store where you can buy the NBA-themed Pac-Man models!
Sadly, there weren’t any GunPla, or I’d have busted my wallet right there for some exclusives.
The other big feature at the show was undeniably SEGA, with its HUGE Sonic blowup that’s promoting Sonic Frontiers.
It’s not as massive as the one we saw at the Tokyo Game Show, but it’s still impressively huge nonetheless!
The Sonic Frontiers demo was the same one present at the Tokyo Game Show, this time catered for a Thai audience.
Then there’s miHoYo booth, which was perpetually filled with throngs of eager gamers swarming around it for…something.
I have no idea what though; everything’s in Thai and I never got close enough to look. There were stores at the back of the booth, so it’s probably something to do with merchandise.
Huawei is making its mark in the gaming sphere too, with its Huawei AppGallery arm (which handles the company’s app platform) had a pretty sizeable booth too, with tons of mobile titles on the show floor for gamers to try out.
Walking around the convention, I get the impression that Thai gamers have been glamoring to return to regular life for a looooooooooong time. It’s even evident in the Thailand Game Show’s theme this year, with deals with its return after a lenghty COVID-19 hiatus.
It’s also clear that the organizers wanted to bring it back as soon as possible too.
Attending the opening ceremony earlier today (complete with a song and dance number), each of the invited speakers talked about how bringing back the Thailand Game Show to a physical venue was one of their most sought after goals.
I don’t understand Thai at all. So I assumed that was what they were speaking from the couple of English words that were uttered. The inference was crystal clear, even if the words were.
One thing that the Thailand Game Show seemed to have in droves were cosplayers.
I noticed quite a few (including a few furries) walking around just enjoying the sights and sounds. These weren’t the ones employed by the companies either, they were just regular cosplayers.
I’m waiting for tomorrow to see if there are more cosplayers to snap pictures of but the ones I did see today were 99% quality work, and not slapdash efforts.
Tune in tomorrow to see if my hopes do come true about the cosplayers!
I’ll also be posting about the exclusive press conference Bandai Namco held today regarding One Piece Odyssey and Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom, which had the producers of the titles taking the stage to talk about them.
They shared some cool details with us (that are under embargo) but I’ll be spilling the beans tomorrow, the moment it’s lifted.
Tomorrow will also have a ton of demo impressions as Bandai Namco’s going to have an exclusive press preview session for their games!