by Lord Badger
Indigo Pearl announced earlier this morning that they are finally giving fans what they have been demanding since 2019. That EGX is returning to Birmingham. While this sounds like a great announcement for fans it really is a case of “be careful what you wish for”
EGX moved from London to Birmingham in 2014 and the decision was rejoiced by fans all across the country. Mainly because of the NEC’s central location in the country. This meant it was accessible for almost everyone. The decision to move the event back to London in 2019 meant that the travel time to attend EGX was simply just too long for fans all across the country.
Today’s announcement that EGX is returning to Birmingham should be a time of rejoicing then surely? Alas no, because as EGX giveth…EGX taketh away. The return to Birmingham means that EGX Rezzed is now no more! For those not aware EGX Rezzed is the “sister” event to EGX. A smaller, more intimate venue filled to the brim with amazing indie games. A chance for Indie developers to get recognized and build a fanbase without being drowned out by the big AAA studios and games.
EGX Rezzed is personally my favourite UK event. It is the highlight of the calendar for me. The venue is just the right size. It is small enough that you can get outside for a breath of fresh air almost instantly. Yet big enough to fit hundreds (if not thousands) of indie games without feeling cramped.
After the day has ended The Captain Kidd is perfectly placed within walking distance of the event and is a great place for Indie Devs to socialise and network. The opportunities created by EGX Rezzed were priceless to Indie developers. Now that is no more.
Now according to the press release from Indigo Pearl, Indie Developers will still have a space at the newly named EGX Birmingham. In fact, it will be expanded on:
Following fan feedback from Birmingham’s large, passionate gaming community, EGX has made the decision to return to the region in 2022 under a new name – EGX Birmingham. This show will lean on expanding the Rezzed Zone, with all the beloved indie games that EGX Rezzed traditionally delivers, but will also meet the need for AAA publishers to showcase spring releases.
Indie games will be at EGX London & EGX Birmingham! So what is the problem? I hear you shout. Quite simply Rezzed was a dedicated event to the creativity of indie games. It allowed Indie devs to get in front of potential customers and gave them an opportunity to showcase their games to a larger audience. By sharing the hall with AAA spring releases the indie devs are once again gonna be silenced by the bigger stands with big-name games and massively bigger marketing budgets.
In summary, Fans have got exactly what they wanted with EGX returning to Birmingham. But in doing so we have lost the best, most creative, artistically diverse games expo in the country. Hopefully events like Play Expo (which does a great job of supporting and promoting indie titles will be able to step up and fill the void left by EGX when it abandoned the indie devs who have relied on its support for so many years.