This afternoon I went to China’s biggest gaming conference and exhibition, ChinaJoy. It’s a fun event, but it’s also very crowded. And when it’s 38 degrees outside it’s also very hot. I mistakenly thought that today was an industry day, but when I arrived I saw lines of people waiting to buy tickets that were literally hundreds of meters long.
Luckily in China there are always scalpers around, and I managed to buy tickets for 75 RMB (normal price 50 RMB), which saved me an hour of waiting in full sunshine. Other scalpers were not too happy with my seller, because none of them wanted to go below RMB 100. But this one was smart, and he understood that selling me 4 tickets for 75 RMB would bring him the same profit as 2 for RMB 100. We had to walk away from the others before I could pay him though. I actually was not sure if the tickets were real, but we managed to get in without any problem.
The show itself is almost the same every year. Huge lines of people waiting to try a new game, get a free poster or take a picture with one of the ‘cute’ girls. Most of the people visiting the show are young men, and they all seem to love the innocent Barbie doll-look that the girls are chosen for. It sometimes seems they have never seen a girl before, let alone taken a picture with one!
The main reason I go to the show is to meet some other gaming companies, and to look at some at the new games that are coming out. Despite the huge amount of people I indeed met some colleagues from the gaming industry and also some VC’s looking to invest in games. It’s easy to spot them in the crowds: we are about the only ones above 30 years old. I got a few ideas for new games and for an application that we can possibly use with flash games, so it was worth the trip to the outskirts of Pudong.
Some pictures of the show, the companies (and of course the girls) can be found in this set.