In this exclusive Q&A, the organiser of Australian games expo and conference GO3 David Kazim, has told Develop that the increased melding of the Western and Eastern games cultures means plenty more opportunities for developers.Last week, the organizers of GO3 announced that early bird registration deadlines for the even had been extended to February 15th and that Konami’s Hideo Kojima was signed on to host a talk at the event.
GO3 show incorporates both a consumer facing expo and a games developer conference, the latter of which also includes talks from the likes of Q’s Tetsuya Mizuguchi (pictured above, right, with Kazim) and Grasshopper’s Goichi Suda.
Develop: Why put together an Australian games expo and conference?
David Kazim: All the figures and research show that Australia is one of the fastest growing gaming spots in the world. The market here is growing rapidly from both an industry and consumer perspective. We are also part of the Australasian region which as a territory leads the world industry in game technology development. All of this means a games expo and conference is a natural match for our country.
What does the location offer that other conferences around the world (such as E3 and GDC) don't?
As mentioned, Australia is a key part of the Australasian region. Perth is the gateway for Asia into the Australian market and we are making a real effort to promote this both nationally and throughout the Asian region. The location we have therefore chosen offers a neutral playing field for the world to do business that can drive direct results through this influential region.
How do you think GO3 will compare to those events?
GO3 is different for a number of reasons. There has been a lot of speculation that we are the new “E3” but all we are trying to be is GO3. We have both a consumer and industry focus for the event which we think can bring unique elements for both markets. As a start up event we are shooting for the stars and to date have had a great response from everyone to what we are trying to do. Whether it equals or surpasses other events will be determined by industry support and what benefits we can drive for them.
What's the target audience? Is there a preference towards industry or consumers?
We are clearly going for both markets with GO3. There is no reason why they can’t exist together and drive unique benefits each way. We have some of the best industry people in the world coming to Perth in March for this which is exciting for both the industry and consumers. Our full focus is to deliver a world class event from a conference and expo perspective and give the industry a platform to show their latest innovations to everyone in this region every year.
With an event that includes a consumer expo, a LAN gaming competition, and a developer conference, GO3 seems very varied - but E3 itself was retooled due to its similar sprawl. Do you have any worries that the show could suffer for the same reasons?
We don’t think so. Each aspect fits a target market for us. The conference will drive topics and issues at and industry level while the expo will bring the consumers together to see the latest and greatest but also compete in a big format over a variety of competitions.
What's level of support do you have from the games industry?
Support has been fantastic to date. We are still three and a half months from the event and have most of the key players on board. Local industry members are very excited and we have had a great response from Asian-based companies who are keen to come down for the event. Local, national and international media have been very supportive and are beginning to commit to covering the event on masse. All up we are beginning to build some terrific momentum which is so exciting given how long we have been in planning.