The year 2023 was a delightful one from the perspective of a game journalist. Not only did major games flood the market, but most of the global game conventions, which had either shrunk or moved online due to the pandemic, finally made a perfect return to offline settings.
Game conventions are more than just events for gamers. They offer a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share joy, showcase unreleased titles, gather information, purchase exclusive merchandise, and enjoy various performances on stage, creating countless memories in what can be described as a truly special event.
This year, just like the previous one, many global game conventions have already announced their dates, preparing to meet gamers. From the Taipei Game Show, which is the first to kick off, to the Summer Game Fest, with even more significant influence due to E3's cancellation, and the Gamescom and Tokyo Game Show, now collectively referred to as the two major game shows.
What game conventions will capture the hearts of gamers this year? We've compiled schedules and venues for major gaming shows both domestically and internationally.
Taipei Game Show (TGS)
Date: January 25-28, Taipei
Taipei Game Show is the first of the annual game shows, held in Taipei. While not the largest in scale, it serves as a platform for various game companies to showcase their games early in the year. Held since 2003, the Taipei Game Show returned to an offline format after a long hiatus following COVID-19.
Due to the high proportion of indie and small developers in Taiwan, the event features exhibitions and awards for various indie games and provides unique gaming zones, including board games. This year's event will take place from January 25 to 28 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. Inven will be on-site to bring you various news and updates.
Game Developers Conference (GDC)
Date: March 18-22, San Francisco
The Game Developers Conference, the premier and largest conference in the global gaming industry, will take place this year as well. It serves as a gathering for the world's top developers and talents to present lectures on various topics. This year, the event will be held from March 18 to 22 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
GDC is not just about lectures. It brings together the entire game development community for five days, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and inspiration, sharing ideas, and collaboratively solving industry challenges to shape the future of the gaming industry. Alongside hundreds of lectures, the event features an expo and awards ceremony, highlighting its diverse offerings.
Penny Arcade Expo (PAX)
PAX EAST (March 21-24, Boston)
PAX WEST (August 30-September 2, Seattle)
PAX AUS (To be determined, Last year: October 6-8, Melbourne)
PAX UNPLUGGED (12/6~12/8, Philadelphia)
PAX is an event held annually in Boston, Seattle, Melbourne, and Philadelphia. It can be considered a true "gaming festival" where gamers and gaming culture take center stage.
Being a gaming event, PAX features large expo halls filled with game developers, diverse musical performances, and even tournaments. However, PAX's charm lies in providing a vast space for attending gamers to play games whenever they want, communicate with each other, and enjoy the experience as they please. This year, starting with PAX EAST on March 21, followed by PAX WEST on August 30, goes on to PAX AUS, and finally, PAX UNPLUGGED will take place in Philadelphia from December 6.
Date: May 23-26
The event that marks the beginning of Korean game conferences is PlayX4. As the largest gaming show in the Seoul metropolitan area, many visitors annually flock to the KINTEX venue in Ilsan to enjoy games from various platforms.
One of the defining features of PlayXpo is undoubtedly its massive arcade area. Filled with easily accessible and enjoyable arcade games, the event attracts families and students alike. Retro markets during the weekends also draw numerous old-school gamers to the scene. PlayX4 2024 is set to take place from May 23 to 26, embracing the upcoming warm spring.
Summer Game Fest (SGF)
Date: June, LA
The Summer Game Fest began as an online-focused event, consolidating independent showcases of major game companies that were held sporadically after the cancellation of E3. Since 2023, under the leadership of host Geoff Keighley, SGF has included offline events. The kickoff show at the YouTube Theater and Play Day, where various games were presented to the media, were part of the festivities.
Moreover, during SGF, various game companies, including Xbox, Ubisoft, and CD Projekt Red, conduct individual showcases near downtown LA. These showcases, streamed online simultaneously with offline events for the media, are a distinctive feature. With E3 fading away, it's worth watching how SGF will expand its scale.
Date: July 26-29, Shanghai
ChinaJoy is the largest game convention in Asia. Celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, ChinaJoy will take place from July 26 to 29 at the Shanghai New International Expo Center. Over the past few years, ChinaJoy has presented content from various fields, including games, comics, animation, esports, and live streaming. In 2024, ChinaJoy plans to upgrade the exhibition to attract even more visitors. Inven will be on-site this year again, to deliver vivid records to gamers.
World Cyber Games (WCG)
Date: To be determined (Last year: July 28-30)
WCG was an annual international esports competition held in a national tournament format from 2000 to 2014. However, with major game companies taking direct control of tournaments, it gradually lost its place. Later, through Big Picture Interactive, WCG expanded from a competition to a festival, allowing various professional gamers, influencers, and ordinary users to participate.
WCG in 2023 took place in Busan and featured a variety of game competitions such as Hearthstone, Clash Royale, Epic Seven, and Genshin Impact. While this year's schedule is yet to be determined, considering last year's event occurred on the last weekend of July, it may take place around a similar time this year.
Date: August 21-25, Cologne
After E3's disappearance, Gamescom has solidified its position as the world's largest and most important gaming show. Every year, gamers from all over Europe gather in Cologne, Germany, for this enormous event.
Starting with Devcom, followed by the opening night live featuring various world premieres, and culminating in the main event that draws numerous crowds, Gamescom unfolds worthy of a week-long gaming festival. This year, Gamescom will take place from August 21 to 25 in Cologne Messe.
Tokyo Game Show (TGS)
Date: September 26-29, Tokyo
One of the most influential gaming shows globally, the Tokyo Game Show, will be held from September 26 to 29 this year. It is an event where numerous Japanese game companies present their latest works. Last year, after the pandemic, TGS finally returned to an offline format, utilizing the entire Makuhari Messe with around 2,700 booths. While they were at it, the event also provided useful information online as well. Gamers are already looking forward to seeing how many new titles TGS will bring this year.
Inven Game Conference (IGC)
Date: To be determined (Last year: October 13)
IGC is an annual global game conference hosted by Inven. Each year, it brings together renowned speakers from Korea and around the world to share lectures under new standards. Aimed not only at gamers but also game developers, developers-to-be, and those dreaming of a better path, IGC is a conference where developers from various countries share knowledge, discuss what makes a better game, and inspire each other.
Last year's theme was the "Global Standard," discussing the philosophy and technology behind games that resonate globally. The schedule for IGC 2024 is yet to be determined.
October 17-20, Singapore
Gamescom Asia, held in Singapore, is a game convention that began in 2020. It serves as the Asian hub for Gamescom. Due to COVID-19, the event faced difficulties in previous years.
In 2023, Gamescom Asia may have felt smaller than expected. Given the large-scale events like ChinaJoy in August, Tokyo Game Show in September, and G-Star in November in the Asian region, it might appear comparatively modest. Nevertheless, with its intimate atmosphere and being a newly established event, there is ample room for growth. Gamers should continue to closely monitor this event.
Date: November 14-17
The most prominent game conference held in Korea is G-Star. Taking place annually in November in Busan, this year's event is scheduled to run from November 14 according to the official website.
G-Star operates B2C halls in addition to the first exhibition hall of BEXCO, expanding to the second exhibition hall. During the event, various activities also take place in the convention hall and auditorium. It's truly a gaming event that utilizes the entire BEXCO, with numerous domestic and international game companies setting up booths to welcome visitors each year. What games will find their way to G-Star this year?
Paris Games Week
Date: To be determined (Last year: November 1-5), Paris
Paris Games Week is the largest game convention in France and is considered the second-largest in Europe after Gamescom. It features game company booths, merchandise shops, esports competitions, and various stage events. The convention aims to provide an enjoyable gaming experience for the whole family, with a dedicated family guide on its website.
Held annually at the Porte de Versailles in Paris, the schedule for this year has not been announced yet. However, considering its past occurrences in late October to early November, it is likely to be held around a similar timeframe.
Date: To be determined (Last year: November 4-5), Anaheim
BlizzCon is a gaming expo where attendees can learn about everything related to Blizzard games. In 2023, after a four-year hiatus, it returned to an offline format while also livestreaming all stage programs online for free. However, last year's focus was more on revealing information about existing games, particularly related to the Warcraft IP, rather than showcasing new releases.
The details for this year's BlizzCon, including whether it will take place and the schedule, are yet to be determined. Last year's information was revealed in May, so waiting a bit longer for updates might be necessary. Traditionally, the offline event has taken place in early November.