The Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles dominates June's video game events landscape, promising bold proclamations, product launches, and sometimes unintentionally hilarious presentations from the biggest and best in the industry.
Festival of Games
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Part conference, part expo, part careers fair, the Festival of Games held at
the Jaarbeurs convention center also features networking events and parties on both nights of the festival. Confirmed speakers include Alan Yu (iPhone game Rolando), Martin de Ronde (charity game foundation OneBigGame) David Perry ( Earthworm Jim, the Gaikai web-based game portal), and Professor Toru Iwatani, the inventor of video game granddaddy Pac Man. The conference's first day focuses on the past and present of video games, the second on business issues and future tech.
Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
Los Angeles, California, USA
One of the biggest video game press events of the year, and back on steady footing, this year's E3 promises to be as dominant as ever. Microsoft are preparing to wow punters and pundits with its take on motion control, Natal, and have already earmarked June 13 and 14 for press conferences ahead of the main E3 affair. Sony will be showing off their version with the PlayStation Move and advances in 3D gaming technology. Nintendo have their next handheld console with purported 3D effects, and a host of publishers and studios will be touting their wares. Expect the goods with regard to
Medal of Honor,
Batman: Arkham Asylum 2,
Gran Turismo 5,
Halo: Reach, Metal Gear Solid: Rising,
Marvel vs Capcom 3,
Civilization V, and
Lego Star Wars III among many, many others.
OnLive gaming service launch
What could be a revolutionary new technology is due to launch on June 17, amongst the hubub of the E3 event. The OnLive MicroConsole is like current games machines in that it hooks up to the internet, but unlike them in that all of the number-crunching is done at OnLive's data centers, so that means no more bulky consoles taking up space in the house. In fact, this could be the death of the traditional home console altogether. Sturdy broadband telephone lines are required, hence the US launch taking priority, though the company have done deals with UK and Belgian telecoms companies to prepare for the as-yet undated European introduction.
Now known as the world's biggest computer gaming extravaganza, DreamHack features a wealth of tournaments for those that specialize in the use of mouse and keyboard.
Super Street Fighter IV and
Heroes of Newerth are among the competitions with top prize funds: the prestigious nature of the event is reflected in the tournament prize funds, totalling upwards of 430,000 Swedish Kroner (€44,000). There is also a computer expo and a selection of musical treats for those that elect to sleep in or near the venue overnight.
Game AI Conference
The use of Artificial Intelligence in game design is becoming more and more pronounced, whether it be programming enemy behavior or orchestrating a sports team around the gamer. Held within the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, scheduled speakers at the conference include Ken Perlin (
Half Life 2), Mikael Hedberg (
Bad Company 2), Mikko Mononen (Crytek,
Crysis), and Claudia Pedica (
EVE Online) among other luminaries. Any remaining tickets are €97, including drinks vouchers for the conference afterparty and the possibility of group discounts.
World of Love
National TV broadcaster Channel 4 has declared its intentions regarding the independent game development scene, hosting this conference which features some of the industry's deserved darlings as speakers: Terry Cavanagh (
VVVVVV, PC & Mac), Simon Oliver (
Rolando, iPhone), Robert Fearon (
Squid Yes! Not So Octopus, 360 & PC), Sean Murray (
Joe Danger, PS3) and Stephen Lavelle (increpare.com) are already slated to appear. Tickets for the day run at £65 (€75).