From January 25th to 28th, Taipei 2024 was held at the Nangang Exhibition Hall located in Taipei, Taiwan.
The Taipei Game Show, which began in 2003, is an event that has now surpassed 20 years and is officially Taiwan's largest-scale game show. As the event grew larger, starting from 2023, it began to utilize the large-scale exhibition facility of the Nangang Exhibition Center. At that time, both the BTC (Business to Consumer) and BTB (Business to Business) zones operated together in one hall. However, at this year's event the two facilities have been separated, with the event being heldon different floors.
In terms of its scale alone, the event is said to be the largest ever in history after three years. A total of 377 companies participated from 26 countries, showcasing over 300 games to visitors. The organizing committee announced that over 360,000 visitors attended the venue during the four-day event.
Many companies from various countries, including Taiwan, set up booths at this year’s event. Among the companies that operated relatively large booths, there were Korean companies such as WEMADE and GRAVITY. WEMADE showcased games like “Night Crows” and “Fantastic 4 Baseball,” allowing visitors to experience the games firsthand. During the event, the game developers took to the stage to interact with visitors, and cheerleaders from a Taiwanese baseball team also appeared, attracting the audience’s attention.
Additionally, GRAVITY's Taiwanese branch, GRAVITY Communications, set up a booth, where many visitors flocked to see their flagship game “Ragnarok Origin” and the screen golf game “Golf Monsters.” Character-related merch items were continuously provided, with various events, such as character couple dances, being held on stage. In addition, over 10 different games were available for visitors to enjoy.
Although it did not directly participate in the show, LEVEL INFINITE set up a booth for SHIFTUP's “Goddess of Victory: Nikke.” Furthermore, other companies such as NINTENDO, BANDAI NAMCO, RIOT GAMES, SHUEISHA GAMES, KOEI TECMO, HOYOVERSE, JUSTDAN, KOMOE GAME, HAOPLAY, MAD HEAD, and KURO GAMES participated in the event, showcasing various games.
However, a disappointing aspect of Taipei Game Show 2024 was that while the event was called the Taipei Game Show, it was very difficult to find booths featuring games made in Taiwan. The majority of the lineup consisted of games from Japan, followed by those from China.
As the Taiwanese game market is focusing more on publishing, rather than on development compared to the past, finding Taiwanese games at the Taiwanese companies' booths was akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Moreover, due to the continuous use of smoke machines at many of the booths, the interior of the exhibition hall, as well as the corridors outside, became hazy. It seems that stricter standards and guidelines need to be established by the organizing committee itself.
One aspect of the Taipei Game Show that deserves parise is related to indie games. At this year’s event, the organizing committee set up a space dedicated to indie games called the “Indie House.” It was the largest ever in scale, and the space inside was utilized extensively.
Although the booth size allocated to most of the participating indie game companies was only about one pyeong (Korean unit of measurement), the spaces between the booths were very spacious. Overall, the domestic indie game companies participating on-site expressed satisfaction with the booth operations.
Most notably, the decision to set up this space at the entrance of the venue to make it easily recognizable to visitors is worthy of applause. Additionally, for the 10th consecutive year, a separate board game zone was set up, allowing visitors to sit down and enjoy these games together, which was a feature missing at G-STAR, Korea's largest game show.
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, while the Taiwanese game industry has been mainly focused on publishing, most of the booths in the indie game area were occupied by Taiwanese companies. Furthermore, the quality of the games they showcased was quite high. Therefore, it may be that Taiwan's game industry could change as a result of these endeavors in the near future. We support their efforts as they venture into the wilderness.
김태만 기자 firstname.lastname@example.org