Players Gonna Play: A Look Into This Year’s Exciting Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS)

by Joshua Diokno   

Needless to say the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit (ESGS) was all sorts of fun. Held from October 28- 30 at the SMX Convention Center, the ESGS brought the geekgasm ten times over with a roster of new game releases from video game development giants to promising independent entities.

14601063_1622918648013368_7306742544075147497_nThe hall already bursting with people was filled with awe as Sony Playstation 4’s larger-than-life LED screen showcased a series of “Call of Duty: Infinite Wars” trailers on loop. Exploring further, different game providers pepper across the grounds, who invite willing gamers, professional and otherwise, to try their game demos out. And they sure weren’t disappointed.

Cosplayers from different game stories also graced the halls, having their pictures taken with aficionados of their chosen character.

Of note, the reception could be attributed not just to the exhibition done by local and international game development studios but also to the small scale and independent developers, may they be from multimedia colleges or plain enthusiasts. They were given their own space within the Convention Center so as to effectively demonstrate their games.

Game distributors such as Bandai Namco had also drawn a crowd with their demo of fighting video games.

14729376_1622918768013356_5384407688797364484_nGaming industry titan, Ubisoft kept it low key and humble but was nevertheless inviting with its booth that featured memorabilia of industry favorites “Assassin’s Creed” and “Watch Dogs”.

A live, small-sized “CS Go” Tournament had also been put to place at the hall’s right wing which was brought to a greater audience with a real-time showing of the ongoing game on a 7-foot screen.

While the marketing for the event appeared to be targeted directly to gamers and game development studios, (a demographic that does not have that great magnitude here in the Philippines) we could say rather confidently, that ESGS was a great success. It didn’t leave out non-gamers and had effortlessly enticed them to join in the community.

Suffice to say, the eSports industry here doesn’t get that much support from the government. And while non-gamers and layman admire and gawk at the gaming industry’s continuous advancement, true appreciation of the craft remains rare. It is still seen as something non-intelligent and altogether decadent.

14595666_1622919144679985_1941970889687562679_nThis is why the ESGS’s reception in the country this 2016 is seen as a beacon of light in the Philippine gaming industry; that this maybe its time to take center stage.

Gene Gacho, Technical Development Manager to Secret 6 Inc, a local Game Development studio, noticed the growth of ESGS in terms of attendees, stating that due attention is progressively being given to the industry.

Upon the question if Gacho thinks that the Philippines would be fertile grounds for the industry to advance further, he had this to say:

“. . .Long standing belief na naman na the Filipino people are creative talaga. It’s a good fuel for games. I think yung programming side is not yet there, but it’s getting there. Pero in terms of art talagang angat tayo. Lots of businesses here pinupuntahan talaga ng outsourcers para sa art.”

Mr. Gacho sees that Secret 6 Inc, with its 10 years worth of industry experience is placed well within the trade. He contends that the studio is definitely geared towards greater progress.

14572324_1622918728013360_1313681211627131882_nSophia Lek, an official from game distributor, Bandai Namco, expressed her utter excitement in immersing in the Philippine gaming culture, stating that she is pretty hyped with the fan and gamer reception of their offering.

Being one of the “showrunners” in Bandai Namco’s game distribution, Ms. Lek took notice of the following and growth of the industry in the country. She stated that Filipinos are gaining a deeper understanding of game development and this indeed contributes to the expansion of their terrain.

Carina Kach of Garena’s “League of Legends” says that this year’s ESGS is by far the biggest in the country.

14716174_1622918704680029_7251000626045670021_n“There are more booths, more sponsors and yes more people coming to the event now. I think that ever since eSports have been growing further. And I think it has more chance of getting bigger [in the country] compared in the past.”

How about you, were you one of the attendees of this year’s ESGS? How did you find it? We’d love to hear from you!

Keep playin’!


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