Tokyo Game Show 2019
The annual convention is a lot of fun, but it is such a blessing to see more indie companies being highlighted.
One thing about Tokyo Game Show that can be quite distracting is the hyper-focus on big companies and mobile game companies. The main halls of Makuhari Messe, the convention center, are simply flooded with the likes of Sony, Konami, CAPCOM, Twitch, Google Play, Cygames, Square Enix, GungHo, and many others, so it can be easy to neglect Hall 9, which houses VR, shopping, eSports, and a wonderful assortment of indie games and companies.
In my time at Tokyo Game Show this year, there were three indie teams that brought a strong presence and yet were so humble and catering to the crowds.
One of those teams was Passion Republic Games, who are developing their first original IP called GigaBash, a 2-4 player brawler that feels like a modern day version of Rampage. It was great fun, and the team was able to share a lot of information with us. They are a decent size team out of Malaysia, and they came out swinging at Tokyo Game Show. Their passion for games and the gamer was clear, and the way they interacted with the crowds over the 4-day event was just a beautiful sight to behold. GigaBash is planned to release some time in late 2020, so keep an eye out for it.
Another amazing team was a young group from Thailand called Quantum Peaks. They are simultaneously developing three games, but their main focus is on developing a new game based on a Thai YouTube animated short series called Bloody Bunny. The team was incredibly excited to be at Tokyo Game Show, and their hard work, passion, and love for games was simply oozing out during their stay. It was such an honor and pleasure spending time with them and learning more about their process.
Finally, I spent some time at the DANGEN Entertainment area, a company that helps localize indie games around the world. Localization in the gaming industry means making something local and familiarizing it in areas outside of its original context. It is not just the process of translating the language in a game, but it is also about using the right expressions and telling the right jokes for the appropriate countries, cultures, and contexts. It is a tough work, but DANGEN has been doing this for a long time and have an extensive library of games they have localized to many regions such as Iconoclasts, Minoria, and Devil Engine. I was able to talk to Dan Luffey, one of the founders of the company, and he was such an amazing person. His heart and passion for localizing and translating are crystal clear, and he absolute loves video games and the industry. He has a strong conviction to create a healthy, honest, and direct approach to the workplace and to other teams.
Tokyo Game Show 2019 was bustling with some amazing talents from all over the world. It was such a pleasure getting to know and connect with these three teams, and I look forward to interacting more with them all in the future. I have linked all three companies in this post, so please check them out when you have time and share some love.