What do you as gamers want from the industry? 
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Gavin Mannion
February 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm

You-Decide

Last weekend I was sitting and complaining about you guys to my wife. Yes life has become that miserable… but moving on she said I should bring the question to you so here it is.

What exactly do you guys and girls want from the local gaming industry? We always hear that you wish our local gaming community was like it was overseas with all those cool events and launches and the like; however whenever the local guys try something the attendance is poor to say the least.

Earlier this year Microsoft set up the biggest Halo tournament the country had ever experienced. They were planning on going all out and providing food, drinks and entertainment to a huge amount of people but in the end they received a lukewarm response and ended up hosting it at their building. The tournament was a fantastic success in the end, but it is irritating to see a lack of effort by the community.

Next up is Megarom hosting a huge Starcraft 2 tournament with an officially sanctioned international match, the top players in the country and all the bells and whistles – yet people still aren’t excited.

The local community days are classed as a major success when 100 people arrive which is pretty dismal if you ask me and the only time the industry appears to get any real reaction is why the locals decide to give stuff away for free.

Really is that all that people want? I’m sure it will make the lives of all the distributors a lot easier if they know you really don’t want anything more than to simply be paid off.

So serious question time. Do you view yourself as part of the gaming community? If so then what would get you to leave the house an attend an event to show that you care about it? Or should the we all just stop trying to give back to the community and just run mini competitions instead?

I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer

  • The Lying Dutchman

    I don’t really see myself as part of the community, but as soon as an event is held within 200 km from my home, I’ll attend.

    • Sir Captain Rincethis

      Are you Lying Dutchman? :)

  • Sir Captain Rincethis

    A good question Gavin. I would most definitely go to events, but I live in Cape Town, and the only events that happen here are the noonday gun, and today it was abysmal (gun blast rating of 2.5/10). In all seriousness, it is a tricky situation. People have a wide taste in game genres everywhere, and even though we have a growing gamer sized community, it still is nothing like other countries. I mean, you look at places like the US or EU and you are talking millions of gamers over there. You look at SA, how many? I think having a focal point, like LG is great, it allows the spread-out gamers to converge on one point with very little effort, but when Halo events are being held in JHB, and I am sitting in CT with OVG raging down the road from me, it’s tricky to jump on an aeroplane and pop over. I’d love to, trust me. As for people who only rock up because there are free things (yeah, all those people who creep out the woodwork when LG has a competition, and then we never hear from again, you know who you are. Probably the same ones that downvote with nothing to contribute) they are not what we are all about. I say keep it coming, the more attention the community is fed, the more it will grow (though maybe slowly…)

    • The Lying Dutchman

      If you think the pickings are slim in Cape Town, try Bloemfontein. The biggest event we get here is some increased patronage at the local BT games on release day.

      • The Lying Dutchman

        Oh, I almost forgot about the day we finally got broadband internet. That was awesome.

        • Sir Captain Rincethis

          Hehe. You do raise a good point. I think stores like BT games are in a prim position to promote these events, yet I never see them doing so… I mean, I am in their store twice a week, would be good to have more of an active community through them. I love being able to natter to the sales peeps about games, and then, when oldies come in and buy Star Wars for Kinetic, we share a ‘Oh dear, should we say anything… Nahhh’ look ;)

        • Wtf101

          At least you have a BT games. In V’town nothing. Nada. Zilch

          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            Does Kalahari venture out there? ;)

          • Wtf101

            Only when accompanied by an armed escort…

          • Rambo

            More or less the same problem in Klerksdorp, and the 1 or 2 local events that get held every few years, is mostly just another counter strike or cod lan.

    • Red Worked

      Totally agree we need more events in CT. I reckon there’s a huge amount of gamers here who just don’t get out the house for this stuff.

      And it would help if they were advertised more too. I work a lot and don’t have too much time for reading gaming news, etc. between work, gaming and g/f. Would help if some advertising happened via SMS or those posters on street lamps for theater plays and stuff.

      • Sir Captain Rincethis

        Yeah, BT only sends me messages to tell me the pre-ordered game that I am no longer going to buy because it has A:CM in the title is ready… Nothing about events…

  • AndriyP

    Im very picky as to what event i would attend, and still it will be to meet up with some of the community peeps and not the actual launch of a game/ product

  • http://twitter.com/_GHT1987 GHT

    I only recently started getting more serious with gaming, so actually going to events is not really going to happen. Especially when I only see my girlfriend over weekends and still have to work 8-5 while trying to do the odd exam here and there.

    What I would love is if news regarding gaming competitions were easier to find. I for 1 have no idea where to get info on competitions (take Fifa or BF3 for example). I would love to join a local league or something, but I just do not where to read up on it. After I get used to that, I suppose it would be easier to go to the events.

  • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

    Events like OC garners a lot of people and I just wonder If enough people know about these Halo Tournaments and all these events. When I was still studying and spent all my time playing king of fighters in the cafeteria , the OC guys actually came and handed out flyers to us and went around campus spreading the word. Local distributors doesn’t even get the same amount of people coming in and out as places overseas such as gamestop. But in any case the gaming community on a whole is not all that big here (with emphasis on community ,not amount of gamers), instead on focusing on huge events which I feel won’t help build a community right now, focus on building a community on sites like this and other forums where people are not constricted to one genre (I for one will not really enjoy sitting watching people play halo). Let user’s upload gameplay videos or LP’s, have an open forum to discuss different genres, try and develop a way for users and gamers to interact with one another besides a comment section. Everyone has different tastes, so an effort should be made rather to consolidate that and bring everyone together

  • http://twitter.com/Potty391 Charl Potgieter

    Easy: All I want from the industry (locally) is that we have access to all the content and services that other regions have. For example, the local Xbox Marketplace (which, if I may add, still doesn’t have all the content – despite there being a rumour that something was meant to happen at the end of the month when we could migrate) is not on par with the UK/US marketplace.

    • Banana Jim

      I’ve given up on local xbox’s marketplace. I know, there’s been some renewed optimism when Microsoft SA shuffled their xbox division, but for me it’s less about promises and more about actually doing something. And so far, the latter has proven me right.

      I know they blame government and the film and publications board, but if the meat industry can get away with donkey meat patties then by the gaming gods, surely Microsoft can do the same… (not the donkey meat patties… )

  • http://twitter.com/WRG_AlwynVenter Alwyn Venter

    The below are just my point of views so feel free to correct me if my perceptions are wrong or warped… In general I think there are quite a few challenges that the industry is faced with but here are my views.

    The gaming scene in South Africa is still viewed in a negative light by most people. The whole perception that it is mainly for bored, overweight and under performing delinquents must be changed. At the core of this problem….the parents. The bigger question here is how can we grow gaming (and in turn e-Sports) into a more “accepted” industry that is viewed the way it should be – That we have athletes in this country that are pure top class (Robert Botha and Barry Louzada and the team?). We already have a body (MSSA) that is helping with this although I feel support for it is lacking. I feel they are fundamental to help this industry succeed in South Africa. Promoting a potential bursary to parents who are concerned about their child’s gaming habits can go a long way to encourage parents to get their children to do well at gaming and could open up a whole new industry in terms of coaching in SA to grow this further.

    How did other sports grow (like soccer, rugby…even curling!). Sports are built around community and people sharing a common bond, the love for their team. Our teams in South Africa are not very well-known (which might be attributed to the lack of marketing and sponsorship due to the whole thing not being taken as seriously as it should). I think we need to start building the love for our local teams and players and make a bit of a fuss about it.

    In summary, once we get the buy-in from more people and as they realise this is actually a serious industry (bigger than the music and film industry put together), we will get the numbers up. For now, I think if you tell your partner that you need to attend a full-day gaming event they will more-than-likely ask you if you are being serious or joking… Keep doing what you guys are doing, it will come with time. I think we need a bigger focus on the players and use that to promote events to draw support.

    Anyways, just some thoughts. Would love to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this!

    • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

      Thing with games is that, not all games can be used for e-sports. to actually build a community we need to focus on other genres too.because games such as halo or star craft, yes has a lot of players but then what about people that like Ico or Dear Esther. we need to build a strong community first by bringing in people of different genres together and from there we can focus on the competitive side of gaming, as that side alone does not constitute a community

      • http://twitter.com/WRG_AlwynVenter Alwyn Venter

        Very valid point Umar. It is not only around e-Eports. I completely agree. I think your statement above definitely links in with gaming still being seen as a mainly a pass time for children. It is mostly frowned upon if you mention that you spend most of your time gaming rather than knitting, playing sports, painting etc. This, I believe, is the core perception that needs changing. How to change it is the million dollar question.

        • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

          Indeed, there is so much negative perception around gaming that it get’s to a point where you have to defend it to people. but I think we as gamers can also change that by less trolling on online games and the internet and being more intelligent about our arguments and debates. when we play online let it be with dignity and when someone does not agree with us let us rebuttal in a civilised way. I guess it’s small things we can do. But I do agree, it has a lot to do with perception, and it’s painful at times.

      • Scoobaz

        Awesome Avatar. Vagrant Story! FTW

    • http://twitter.com/Lolita_za Yolanda Green

      You have valid points there Alwyn. Unfortunately most people can’t see it in such a mature manner and kick and scream like babies when ever such a change is suggested.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    My biggest problem is where things are held. It’s difficult when the events are being hosted in Johannesburg, during the middle of the week and I don’t live in Johannesburg. This brings about a whole lot of complications like time constraints, responsibilities etc that I need to consider.

    I attend the big ones such as rAge which one can properly plan for, land on a weekend and frankly isn’t always aimed around the console.

    The amount of love for PC gamers in the country is very small. Sure, Microsoft held this big event, but I’m not a console guy. So I think that the two communities (PC and console) need a way to be brought together. Keeping them separate is a mistake because the amount of players in SA is small enough as it is.

  • Sandelk

    Have events in Cape Town and I will come… Unfortunately, all these events planned are just not worth the price of my plane tickets anyway…

  • Banana Jim

    I just want kinect to die. I think it’s a simple request… other than that I’m fairly content. It would be nice to see more gaming events in Cape Town. I mean come-on we have a decent convention centre. It’s huge. If they can have the annual tattoo and sex conventions there, then by the gaming gods, gaming should also be represented.

    I even wish I had more gaming friends, and I also wish that soy products didn’t have to taste so crap. :(

  • http://twitter.com/Lolita_za Yolanda Green

    I think the biggest problems we face are cost of transportation and accommodation Gamers spend all year planning their trip to rAge which has the biggest attendance. If we have 4000 competitive gamers and maybe 10% of them are StarCraft fans, how many people do you think of that 10% live in close proximity to the event venue?

    Obviously NAG know how to market their event (rAge) to a mainstream audience. In my opinion, that’s what you want to do. If you focus on the small amount of serious gamers willing to travel and have money to spend, you won’t get a big attendance. Free stuff or not.

    People need to change their approach to marketing to 1) the local community and 2) the mainstream community. Technology is a really big field, incorporate different aspects of it that compliment gaming :)

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      Hoor hoor

    • CALeGrange

      I agree, it’s not about the free stuff…The marketing around games itself is not too bad. The online presence of releases are heard all over the net.

      The distribution companies should start incorporating varsities and other broader channels. Devon from Megarom doing his thing on gaming now and then on 5fm is excellent, but how about taking out ads in magazines, radio station ads on UJ FM, Wits Radio and TUKS FM…TUKS btw is the biggest campus radio station in the country, They broadcast the whole of Pretoria and Joburg now, they have about 50 000 listners…Produce 30 sec radio spots, and distribute them to community radio stations around the event. That wont cost more than R5000. TV spots are expensive and no real geek I know really watches TV anymore, accept for some sports games.

      Getting the mainstream aware of the event is a big step. They won’t necessarily pitch, but they are aware of it. Getting the attention of mainstream is what the attendance of these events need..getting everyone talking about the “Starcraft” event of “COD” event, not just the fans.

      The distributors are big companies, instead of catering, produce a radio spot and take a full page add in mainstream mag like GQ of FHM, get celebs or geek celebs to pop in for a appearance or MC the thing. Get sponsers, get bands…its a gaming event, not a tea party!
      …and without sounding like a Neanderthal, booze, get booze and booze promos along with those sponsors.

      I think treating the gaming community like any other music or party fan is NOT necessarily a bad thing.
      People just need to WANT to go

      That said, Im pumped for the Starcraft event, even though it is a bit of a drive but regardless, i think it’s going to be cool. The Megarom guys always try their best, and try to better themselves with each event.

      • http://twitter.com/Lolita_za Yolanda Green

        can’t say I disagree with you there ^_^

    • http://twitter.com/SaveTheQueenIX umar bastra

      yes, indeed. I think more research needs to go into the demographic as well as area. I think you got a great point by bringing in different aspects of technology, this in turn just helps in creating an even bigger community of not just gamers but techies as well.

  • Squeege

    Ive heard of more gaming events in CT then in Jozi actually. I mean
    they have the GameX, Cosplay events ever so often launch events, gaming
    lounges and a number of other things.

    If we in Jozi have such
    stuff then i guess it just isnt well marketed and that information is
    not going out to the gaming community and the same would go for any
    pasrt of SA for that matter.

    Ive been to a few launch events and
    LAN events etc and they are quite entertaining but i would never have
    heard of these events if i had not gone out on a limb to find out about
    them.

    I suppose for me what i would want is a added blog feature
    where event information is given perhaps like a central administrative
    point for information on different gaming events big and small.

    Zombiegamer
    has a calender feature on their site that highlights upcoming events
    which is quite cool but most of them are CT events because i suppose
    that is where they are based, but if we take that idea and just elevate
    it then it will work for gamers in SA as a whole and thereby getting
    event dates and information to gamers timeously and allowing them to
    plan towards these events.

    Im almost certain that
    anybody who games whether leisurely or as a hobby would want to attend
    events whenever possible and this can be done if the right information
    was shared among them

    • Sir Captain Rincethis

      If you know where I can find info on events in CT let me know. I only know of one in the past 6 months, and that was held in a mall… Nothing like gaming and having some 9 year old stand behind you giving you advice on a game he has played for 5 minutes when you’ve grown up with the entire series ;)

      • Squeege

        LOL! yeah that is a real irritation. Ive had that often at mall events too. I generally just throw some water on their pants and tell all the other kids he wet himself and then that distracts them long enough to get a good hour or so in.

        Checkout this link:

        http://zombiegamer.co.za/calendar

        You will find tons of CT events on there

        • Sir Captain Rincethis

          Awesome, thanks bud. Re: how to confuse the kids, NICE. Will walk around with a bottle of water. I think worth trying just for fun :)

          • http://www.phenomenalgaming.net/ Squeege

            No problem. Yes you should try it its actually really fun. Parents kinda get real upset though but one can always deal with that by offering them a beer but don’t use the beer to throw on their pants because that won’t end well. :D

  • JP

    You have the wrong console sort! You mentioned xbox and pc games! Im not saying that it sucks but i know more ppl with ps3’s than xbox’s or pc’s! Ive got nothing against xbox or pc’s believe me i own all 3 platforms and enjoy them all. Look at “Maingaming” they host competions that include xbox and ps3 and they are doing great! You pay a small amount to compete in games that are present on wich ever platform you choose and if your good enough you can walk away with some awesome prizes! But then again like you said ppl dont want to go to the things if they dont get anything free, i personaly think its shouldnt be that way! What happened to just playing games for the fun of it? I prefer playing against human players instead of the computer cause its more fun but i do it cause i enjoy it more, not for getting a prize for it.

  • GTO

    I don’t live in Joburg or Cape Town and I have never heard of an event being hosted anywhere else, I am not driving 5 hours to support something.

  • http://twitter.com/NukuNukuDash Tracy

    Specifically regarding the Halo event: I was amped to go, really, I got tickets from another site, told all my friends about it, got everyone interested, was going to be going with a big bunch of people. And then, out of nowhere, I get an email to say the event is closed to the public so I can’t go anymore.

    At that stage, my rant, was: you want the local gaming industry to get bigger? Let more people come! Why would you close it to the public, to the community?! Yes, I don’t even own an Xbox, but hell, I want to go and meet people and be a part of it. So I was very disappointed in the event organisers, without the right information I was left to wonder to myself why the public was excluded, and my conclusion was – incorrectly – that they didn’t WANT community involvement.

    Then, I heard from the people that did go, who heard it from the organisers themselves, that the lack of public interest was not the reason the public was excluded. The location had to be changed (for reasons I won’t mention), and the amount of “off the street” people that were invited and not directly connected to the event wouldn’t fit at the new location, so that’s why we were no longer included. Only the tournament participants and their +1’s would be able to go.

    It was a legitimate excuse and I’m happy with that. So when you say there was a lukewarm response, I can tell you from my side, from the people I know AND the people that were actually there, that there definitely was not.

    • Sir Captain Rincethis

      Ahhh, the plot thickens. Very odd to do that. Were you reimbursed?

      • http://twitter.com/NukuNukuDash Tracy

        No reimbursement necessary, it was going to be free, I got tickets through ITF Gaming. From what I saw, there were a LOT of tickets available, Lazygamer had some to give away as well, and I know ITF’s were snapped up pretty quickly.

        All I know is that circumstances meant a change in venue that couldn’t accommodate the shit-ton of community members that were going to attend, along with all the tournament’s previous participants and finalists, which is why they cut it down. And I’m sure that decision wasn’t made very lightly by the organisers either.

        I would just like to know where Gavin got his information from, that’s all. Because it’s definitely not the same story I heard.

        • Sir Captain Rincethis

          Very odd. Maybe Gavin is doing some damage control :P

          • http://twitter.com/NukuNukuDash Tracy

            Damage control isn’t necessary – I know why the location was changed, and why it wasn’t made public, and I’m not saying more about that. The issue is that what Gavin is saying above is that there’s no community participation and he used the Halo event as an example. What I’m saying is that there is, and using the Halo event as an example is wrong because it’s not what happened.

            So… he’s having a rant at us, the community, the people that come to this site, read the news, click the banner ads, tell our friends etc etc and for what? Please tell me, why are we getting the blame here for the frikken Halo event?

            Seriously, you guys name an event, and if I can I’ll damn well be there. You saw me at the Resi 6 launch, the Far Cry launch, rAge… and I would have gone to Halo too if it weren’t for those meddling kids…

          • Sir Captain Rincethis

            I see you point!

          • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

            We got the info straight from our own databases, and the event organisers. The original plan was to cater for 200+ people – but there were fewer than 100 who’d entered.

          • http://twitter.com/NukuNukuDash Tracy

            That’s fine, but what about all the other sites that had tickets for the public? There were 5 or 6 different sites giving them out weren’t there? There might be two different stories as to why the event was moved, I don’t know. I didn’t organise it. I’m just telling you what I heard from the people that were there.

            I take umbrage with Gavin having a go at us, hell even at me, for not showing interest in the community, when you know that’s not true. Come on Geoff, you’ve met me in person, you know me. Am I to blame? You know a lot of people from this site, it’s a tight-knit group of die hards, and pointing fingers at us, at me, might not be the best way to go about changing the community.

          • http://www.twitter.com/WobblyOnion Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

            Yeah…you’re awesome – but by and large, we’ve found that people in general really just don;t care much. there is that small, die-hard group of amazing people (the same ones you see at every event!) but for some reason, getting people to actually step out of their houses is a huge mission.

  • Verrayne

    The best thing I think they can do is to take a lesson from the golfing association. Golf is all ready big but let me explain.

    Every year in March/April you have the club championships (each club having a competition getting their best in each category) then these people go on to compete in the provincial comp and then the nationals.

    If you were to take it to gaming hold a competition at local gaming places with the various categories/games such as:

    RTS – SC2
    Fighting – MK9
    Sport – Fifa

    Or what the hell. Then you will see how things grow.

    While I was in highschool we went to carousel for the ESWC each and every year. It was awesome!! I wish it was still there…

    I have yet to see a fun day at any of these events… where players can play other games than the “big names” on “tournament” settings why not have a FPS match with only snipers and 4 bullets or a sc2 tourney where tier 3 is banned for instance. Why do the organisers try and make every single event extra serious? Get your casuals in and slowly start converting them.

    If I take my golfing group were about 20 okes that play every saturday the first year only 4 of us did club champs last year we were 15.

    I can go on and on but I’l end it there…

  • mornelithe

    Not everyone likes Halo? I mean, breaking news here, but Gamer’s have differing tastes. I’m not from SA, but I wouldn’t cross the street to go to a Halo event. I just don’t find it interesting. Maybe not lumping all your eggs in one basket, Microsoft?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carl-Angus/685100819 Carl Angus

    WhyTF do I feel like I’m being told off here?

    Not cool Gavin, not cool.

  • DrKiller

    I think they should advertise these things better.. I didn’t even know about the Halo event with free food and stuff.. I’m always up for free food :)

    The second problem is that there are TOO MANY “local communities”. In CPT there is OC which is a LAN that everyone knows about.. We used to have Carnage, there was this Tekken Tag 2 tournament, there was a Fifa tournament in Tyger Valley, there is gecosports in Kenilworth area, there is a few game lounges and all of these events has their own website.

    The solution for everything is to have like a CapeTownGamingEvents.co.za website, forcasting everything that will happen in the near future! With DETAILS like maps, prices, how many registered, do we get free food, etc..

  • http://twitter.com/Moonstormer Zoe

    I’ve been to a few launch events and had an awesome time. I may be a pleb at the events (one of the few people who win tickets and go as a gamer, not a journo), but it’s a really good time. That said, I don’t play halo, or starcraft. I don’t mind going to tournaments, as long as the required platform is provided – example, I went to the launch of the 3DSXL hosted by JoburgGamers and they had plenty of 3DSXLs for us to use to play in their Mario Kart tournament. That meant that it didn’t matter if I could afford the device, I could still have fun. I don’t need giveaways (although i won’t say no to them) or even free food/booze to go take part in these events – just an invitation and the knowledge that i don’t have to be pro to be welcomed. maybe it also helps that i live in joburg ;)

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