EGX 2019: What You Need To Know

October 23, 2019 4:36 pm

EGX finished this weekend. London, nay, Britain’s biggest gaming tradeshow’s curtain call was on Sunday. Games were played. Costumes were worn. Laughter was had. If you didn’t get the chance to go this year, or are thinking of going next year. Well, we’ve got this tidy little writeup just for you. So let’s talk about EGX 2019.

  • What is EGX
  • What happened at EGX 2019
  • Tips for visiting EGX 2020

Hang on a minute, I stumbled on this page by accident. What is EGX? 

Well, firstly, thanks for sticking around. Secondly, EGX – formerly the Eurogamer Expo – is a gaming tradeshow. In layman’s terms, it’s where developers and publishers come to show off their shiny new video games. Gaming’s biggest companies like Sony and Nintendo were in attendance. But it’s also a showcase of smaller games from independent developers. It’s a fantastic mix of big-budget spectacle crossed with unique experiences.

 

There’s loads more there too. Merch, food, drink, competitions, cosplay, board games… the list goes on, but we’ll get to that.

So how about EGX 2019? What happened this year?

Lots, thankfully! This year it was held at the ExCel Centre. Those of you who’ve been there will know how big it is. But for those of you who have never had the pleasure: it’s big. Really big. Entering the foyer is daunting in itself! It’s huge. It would take you a good 5 minutes to walk from one end to the other.

And it was full of people. Some in the colourful costumes of their favourite gaming characters. Others in more casual attire. Once you’ve equipped your wristband, you’re moments from the show floor. The booming music slowly rising as you approach the entrance. The flickering lights, signs and logos come into focus. You have arrived.

If it’s all about video games, then talk about them! What was shown?

EGX 2019 boasted perhaps its biggest line-up ever. Sony and Nintendo, as mentioned, both had a big presence on the floor. Sony boasted a presentation of Hideo Kojima’s unclassifiable Death Stranding, which stars a wealth of A-list talent. When players get their hands on it this coming November, they’ll be controlling The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus as he…delivers packages in the post-apocalypse? We’re still not really sure yet. Players also got their grubby mitts on the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and the new Call of Duty, to name but a few.

Nintendo held Mario Kart and Splatoon competitions, and had a wealth of new and old games to play. The Witcher 3 made its triumphant way to the Switch’s weaker hardware recently, and was available on the floor.

And speaking of The Witcher, its creators, CD Projekt RED, were also in attendance. They were showing one of the most anticipated games of next year – Cyberpunk 2077.

Nice. What about the smaller games you mentioned?

EGX 2019

Unique to EGX 2019 is the Rezzed Zone. It’s a significant showcase of independent talent from across the globe. And best of all, many of the developers are in attendance, so you can chat to them while you wait, or even as you play. It’s a fantastic insight into the industry, one that is sadly absent from the bigger players. Highlights include Valfaris, a sidescroller with a heavy metal influence. And Blasphemous, a dark, gothic jaunt through a gruesome world seeping with religious themes and iconography.

Alongside this, they also have a Careers Fair, for anyone seeking advice on entering the industry. And even a section dedicated to university graduates. No other gaming expo does as much to help budding developers as EGX.

What about esports? Was anyone flossing at EGX 2019?

We hope not, but yes, esports had a big presence at EGX this year. Capcom’s Streetfighter Pro Tour held its 2019 European Finals this year. Big Bird beat Infexious 3-1 to take the crown, and the £7000 top prize. And no, those aren’t their real names. Big Bird now takes his convincing form to the Pro Tour Cup in December, where he’ll be up against Victor ‘Punk’ Woodley, and Bonchan.

There were also Overwatch and Tekken tournaments, and the aforementioned Nintendo competitions too – all open to the public. So, if you like a healthy dose of competitive gaming, EGX has you covered and then some.

And when I’m all gamed out, what else can I do?

Depends on what you want. Cosplayers are obviously more than welcome, and can compete to see who has the best costume of all. There’s the Tabletop section, where you can watch or play a number of, well, tabletop games. There are panels featuring internet personalities and game developers, and meet and greets with the very same.

EGX 2019

If you want merch, you got merch. You can pick up clothing, figures, games, and tech from across the sector. There’s bars and coffee spots, depending on what your poison is. An assortment of food options. You can even get tattooed there. There really is no reason to leave. Ever. Well, until 6pm. Unless you have a weekend pass, in which case, you can stay until 10pm.

The whole things sounds super positive with absolutely no negatives at all…

Hold on a second. We didn’t say that. There are a couple issues that brought the experience down a bit. Firstly, remember those big games we mentioned earlier? Death Stranding? Final Fantasy VII Remake? Cyberpunk 2077? Well, if you want to experience them, you need to have booked a slot or you risk queueing for upwards of two hours. The problem is, this wasn’t mentioned at any point before we arrived. Some of these bookings required downloading an app. We arrived at 1pm, and very quickly found that every slot for every game/experience had been long booked. It’s a shame. If we had known about it beforehand, we would have booked.

And secondly, the food. While there are some recognisable spots like Subway, you’ll be queueing a long time to get your hands on a 6 inch. We settled for a little wrap place off the beaten path that had no queue. That was a mistake. Without naming names, it was really bad – bordering on inedible. We weren’t even sure if the chicken was properly cooked.

But these shouldn’t put you off going to EGX next year. Far from it. Overall it was an incredible experience that we’d recommend in a heartbeat. Speaking of…

Tips for people going to EGX 2020

  • If EGX 2020 is like EGX 2019, it will be open from Thursday to Sunday. If so, pick up a weekend pass and head there early on Thursday. Doors are at 10am, and it will likely be quieter as most of us have jobs. Take the day off. You deserve it. Fewer people means smaller crowds and smaller queues. It’s the best chance you have to see and play what you want. And given the release of the next Xbox and PlayStation next year, turnout will likely be larger.
  • If you can’t make it on Thursday, still aim to arrive there as early as you can. The early bird catches the worm is no truer than at EGX.
  • Pick appropriate footwear. You’ll be doing a lot of walking. You don’t want to be wearing your best heels.
  • Eat before you go. From our experience, queues for food grew considerably at typical lunchtimes. Think 12-2pm. If you eat well before you go, you’ll avoid the queues and have your pick once the busy period dies down. Alternatively, go with an empty stomach and eat lunch early.
  • Take a coat, it’s cold in October. But make sure you dress light beneath it. The show floor gets pretty warm. And you don’t want to be sweating up a storm while getting your gaming on. Thankfully, they have cloakrooms on-site if you don’t want to carry it around.
  • Plan ahead. With so much to see, make sure you know when certain events/talks are taking place. We were handed a lovely schedule when we arrived, but feel free to do your research ahead of time.

And there ends the lesson. Thanks for reading all of these words. We’ll definitely be attending EGX next year, and we hope to see you there! In the meantime, go find your new favourite watering hole. Or go check out Namco Funscape for some arcade goodness.

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