Gamescom 2023

Gamescom 2023

So we’re going (or went) to Gamescom!

Two years ago this would have felt like an impossibility, but hey, we’ve come a long way since then. When the email from IGEA came in, asking for interested parties to join the Australian stand, we talked it over internally and decided that not only would it be hugely beneficial as a company to attend, but we could actually afford it.

Given we’ve been focusing so much on Roving Rovers recently, between space events and the MOD. exhibition (more blog posts coming soon) that seemed like the logical choice to showcase, but we were going to keep a couple of mobile projects in our back pocket should the situation arise. 

Our goals were to raise awareness for the project to an international audience, and of course talk to publishers and investors in the hopes of securing further development and marketing funding. Thus began the process of building out a publisher pitch, practising it, refining it, practising some more, getting feedback, making changes and of course, even more practice. I’m pretty sure I can pitch you Roving Rovers in my sleep at this point.

With pitches perfected, flights finalised and accommodation arranged we were finally off to Germany. We left a few days prior to the event (Arriving Sunday evening for a Wednesday convention start) to give us a chance to get settled, and after nearly 30 hours of straight travel it was a good idea. We spent Monday getting settled and exploring the quaint village around our apartment, before heading to the venue Tuesday afternoon to check out the set up and catch up with the rest of the Australia crew.

 

The booth was still very much under construction at this point, but we were assured by the IGEA reps that everything would be set up come 9AM on Wednesday. The rest of the day was spent exploring Cologne’s downtown, highlights include the absolutely Massive cathedral and the bridge completely covered in locks.

 

Early evening was another trip to the convention space, looking much more finished now, to catch up with a fellow South Australian for dinner. Finally it was back to the apartment for an early night to rest up before three long days of convention going.

With definitely not a late night of development finished, we were off to the event! We had three people exhibiting Roving Rovers and the plan was two of us taking meetings with publishers/investors/other parties while the third person hangs around to show off the game to anyone walking past.

 

Coming from our previous experience exhibiting at events like PAX and AVcon, the business to business focus of Gamescom was definitely a different vibe. There were less people coming through the booth, but everyone that did was much more closely related to the industry and had interesting thoughts and opinions. While most of my day was spent running around meeting with people, I enjoyed the time hanging out with the game more than I have at any other event.

 

Meeting with publishers was an interesting experience, they were always very no-nonsense discussions which I appreciated. You’d sit down, run through the pre-planned pitch with them, show them/have them play the build if they were interested and then talk about the feasibility of working together. While some publishers were upfront that the game wouldn’t work for them for a number of reasons, the feedback was always helpful and quite a few were interested enough to want to talk further, so who knows what we’ll be announcing in the upcoming months 😉

After a very long three days we were finally done, with more than 20 meetings and ~100 people playing Roving Rovers at the booth, it was time to leave Germany behind (for now). But before further travels, a well earned day of rest and recuperation. While most of the team rested around our rented apartment, two of us spent a day out with some relatives who happened to live nearby, visiting an old palace and one of the few surviving pre-WW2 villages (insert pictures).

 

Sunday morning it was time to say our farewells, with some members staying an extra week to explore Europe, the rest of us caught a train to Amsterdam for an extra night before our flight home Monday afternoon. After a gruelling 36 hours of flight, especially with the beginning of con-flu starting to set in, we were finally back in Adelaide, and back to work after a couple of days rest.

So, now all is said and done, how was our first Gamescom?

It was an amazing experience, just to see something so huge, especially compared to events in Australia. Getting to talk to people from all over the world and from all sizes of companies was a wonderful experience. It was originally quite stressful, but over time the meetings and pitches got less and less scary. I’m hoping we’ll be there again next year, with a far more polished and better funded demo on display.

 

If any future devs are reading this, planning their own potential trip to Cologne, it’s definitely worth it. If you’re going to look for publishing and investment, practise your pitch until you know it by memory, and go in with an open mind. 

 

A huge thankyou to IGEA for arranging the booth and giving us the chance to attend, and SAFC and InvestSA for supporting us both financially and with pitching training, advice, support and all kinds of help before, during and after the event.


1 comment

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