Asia Game Show 2009 Image Galleryby Jerry Chu,
Celebrating its 8th anniversary – the Asia Game Show x Online Game Show opened to gaming fans of Hong Kong for a 4 day extravaganza beginning December 24. Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, some game fans were lined up outside of the HKCEC 2 days in anticipation of the event.
The event was largely sponsored in part by HKSAR (government), HKGIA, Hong Kong Productivity Council Hong Kong Digital Entertainment Industry Support Centre, and the Savannah College of Art and Design, in conjunction with support by Sony Computer Entertainment Asia.
With console gaming largely represented by Sony across its PS3 and PSP platforms, much of the attention was spent on Gran Turismo 5 (including a new game trailer), Final Fantasy XIII, God of War III, and Bayonetta. A large turnout of local Chinese Online game companies and game operators were in attendance with names most Western gamers might not be familiar with (yet) – Gamania, Centurysoft, Gameone, and Blizzard's HK partner for World of Warcraft – Soft-world Int. Representatives of the Hong Kong Game Industry Association stressed during the opening ceremonies that the HKSAR government and Office of Economic Development has made it a priority to facilitate the development of local creative industries within the gaming industry.
And what's a gaming convention without the cosplaying? A wide variety of cosplayers were out in force throughout the event representing several well known anime, manga, and game properties including Gundam, Final Fantasy, and Naruto. What's interesting to note is the wide acceptance of official cosplay events outside of just the ‘cosplay area’ seen as TGS. The Asia Game Show also featured quite a few booth babes out in full force with the AGS taking it a step further with a full on ‘Miss Asia Game Show’ beauty pageant. While cute cosplayers, models, and beauty pageant wanna-bes were plentiful…so were the otaku that were fixated on taking pictures of said females.
Given the continuing piracy issues within much of Hong Kong and China, it remains to be seen how HKSAR's efforts to boost its fledgling gaming industry might be realized, but if the observed sales of legitimate games (especially Final Fantasy XIII) at the event were an indicating factor, it seems Hong Kong is heading in the right direction.
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