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Gamescom Asia / Gaming Matters 2021: Why Have Two Singapore Gaming Events In The Same Week?

When it rains, it pours. In case you didn’t know, there are two gaming-related events going on in Singapore this week. And this is after almost two years of having none, due to the pandemic.

First up, there is Gaming Matters, which is an event with a more B2B focus, finding the intersections between the gaming industry and the music, sports, and marketing industries.

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Then, there is gamescom asia, which was cancelled, slated as a digital-only event, before finally settling as a hybrid event. It is the first Asian iteration of the world’s largest computer and video games festival.

Both events are hybrid events, which means they are both going to be streamed online, with Gaming Matters being streamed on Twitch, while gamescom asia being streamed on YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Twitch, and eGG Network.

The physical venue for both events will be at the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre. At this point, most will wonder if they are competitors or part of the same umbrella event? Or maybe visitors can watch the stream of one event on their phones while being physically present in the other, and then swap events when they get bored? How did the game industry decide which event to attend (and spend their budget on)? Why are some of the panellists on Gaming Matters come across more like administrators who happen to be in the gaming industry?

Seriously, who decided this week was the best? And where are the big game reveals? Looking at the line up for both, there’s a sense that neither event is terribly exciting so why would gamers care?

The events at Gaming Matters tend to be about how businesses in other industries can tap into the huge potential and reach of games.

The term ‘Metaverse’ gets mentioned a lot, which is a fancy way of saying ‘using games for anything other than actual gaming’. With Epic Games, Riot Games, and various industry experts speaking though, it is likely that there will be insights revealed that only industry experts are privy to. Virtual concerts, spaces for visual artists, NFTs, and gamification can be cool, sure, but lest we forget, Neal Stephenson, who coined the term ‘Metaverse’ in his novel Snow Crash, didn’t paint a pretty picture of the idea. Still, we are not old curmudgeons whining about how games should only be about gaming.

After all, some of us secretly harbour a love for Fortnite! However, we do wonder if an event that is implicitly about the profit-making potential of collaborating and integrating with the gaming industry can truly lead to valuable insights and discussions surrounding what it means to be a digital native in today’s world. What is undeniable is that gaming itself is becoming unavoidable in the modern world, and as the line separating games and our very lives become increasingly blurred. Thus, it is imperative that we examine its impact and the new spaces that crop up for recreation, work, and self-expression.


gamescom asia, on the other hand, is more akin to a gaming event that gamers are more familiar with. There is an entertainment zone meant for gamers, and a trade zone with a more B2B bent.

In the entertainment zone, there will be gaming news and showcases for Southeast Asian companies, which is a great thing, as developers in the region typically lack great opportunities to show off their games and products. When Just Dance 2022 is the biggest game featured in the event, the indies will have no problem getting their time in the spotlight. Also, there will be a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, along with the inaugural Asia Games Awards to really make this an exciting event that won’t feel like a series of lectures. One can’t help but wonder, if gamescom asia is awarded the best event in the Asia Games Award, how shameless would that be?

There will be a trade conference in the trade zone, which will have talks and panel discussions a huge variety of topics, with Games360 covering all aspects of the industry including game development and design, production and management, business and marketing, next-gen tech and trends, and esports. There will also be a spin-off event, Mobile Gaming Summit, that focuses specifically on mobile game development, publishing, and growth strategies.

Games360 aims to be Asia Pacific’s premier professional conference for the game industry, and the lineup really does walk the talk. From panel discussions about the game industry culture in Singapore to more design-oriented topics about how audio can shape narratives in games, and with keynotes from Square Enix’s creative producer about how the Japanese role-playing game genre is designed and reinvented, this really is gearing up to be a home run of a conference.

The Mobile Gaming Summit’s laser focus means that for those interested in developing mobile games and want the workings of the mobile games business demystified, they will get the chance to hear from industry experts such as TikTok, Google Play, KOEI TECMO, Zynga and more share their tips and insights.

At this point, it sounds like Gaming Matters can become part of gamescom asia’s trade zone, so we have no idea why there are two events happening concurrently in the same venue still. But hey, having more of such events is great for Singapore’s gaming industry, and will also give indie businesses and studios a helpful push, so we’re not complaining (too much).

The tickets for Gaming Matters cost US$50 for an online-only pass, and US$225 for an offline and online pass, with the various talks happening between now and 4pm on 15 October 2021.

The events in gamescom asia’s entertainment zone are free to watch, with the first event starting at 8pm on 15 October, with the last event ending at 7pm on 17 October. Tickets to the trade zone will be priced at S$98, granting full access to the trade conference, exhibition, and networking from 11 – 20 October.

Other ways to watch the live stream from 15 to 17 October are as follows:

No, really, who was the genius who thought this was a good idea? While you’re at it, do check out Singapore Games Week as well, or RazerCon 2021 on 21 October.


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