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At the GiocoNews.it debate on videogames, organized within EAG, focus on training and connettivity.
London – The future of entertainment passes through the combination of electronic sports and arcades. This is what clearly emerges from the Eag Expo in London, the entertainment fair in progress at the ExCel exhibition center in the British capital, from the debate organized by GiocoNews.it, fully dedicated to esports and amusement.
The meeting, entitled: “Competitive videogames in a competitive market”, was attended by the managers of some leading companies in the segment, with direct experience in arcade activities, who illustrated the current developments and the trends that are emerging, showing however that, beyond the future, the union between these two worlds is already a reality and is giving great satisfaction to those who are investing in new technologies. For a decidedly cross-border phenomenon that is expanding, albeit at different rates, all over the world. Not by chance, three companies from very different countries such as Italy, Germany and the United States took part in the debate, through the proofs of Giovanni Antonioli Fantini, CEO of SandBox and partner of Tecnoplay, Robert Fankhaenel, co-founder by Hologate and Jan Goetgeluk, CEO and founder of the American Virtuix.
In outlining their personal and business experiences on the various markets, some agreement emerged as regards some specific issues, such as the future of entertainment in the arcades (and not only) and the basic conditions that this type of activity needs in order to quickly and properly define itself. For everyone, what is needed is a change of approach by the operators of the arcades and the general entertainment industry, which in addition to having to invest in these new technologies must facilitate this new path by focusing on training and infrastructure.
“The esports phenomenon, which is having a big success among young and very young people, has yet to be fully understood for several generations – Goetgeluk explains – for this reason it is necessary to spread a competitive gaming culture through an educational activity that doesn’t concern only the players, to educate them to a reasonable consumption of the gaming and technology, but also the parents, who must not look at these activities with suspicion, but must enhance their educational and aggregation aspects, in addition to the entertainment operators, who must understand that the future now comes through here”.
The Vituix manager, in reporting the US experience and telling what they are doing in territory such as Las Vegas, highlights how important it is to spread the knowledge of electronic sports among the general public and how it is useful in this sense the introduction of the Esports “subject” in university programs, in schools more generally but also in places of aggregation and worship.
The Vituix manager, in reporting the US experience and telling what they are doing in areas such as Las Vegas, highlights how important it is to spread the knowledge of electronic sports among the general public and how it is useful in this sense the introduction of the esport “subject” in university programs, in schools more generally but also in meeting and worship places.
While the other essential aspect for the affirmation of this new market is the investment in facilities: “Certainly, if virtual reality and the augmented one represent the main development drivers for gaming and entertainment, which will have a strong and directed impact also on esports, it is also clear that these technologies require investments not only in terms of product but also in terms of facilities”, Fankhaenel explains. “It is therefore essential to have appropriate and above all stable connettivity. With 5G which certainly represents an opportunity but already today, current technologies allow us to offer advanced experiences, but they must be present in arcades”.
Fantini is also particularly sensitive about this subject: “It is important to highlight what the operators of gaming rooms must do at this stage to be able to assure a future: to propose new gaming forms it is necessary to have connected rooms and dedicated staff, who is able to create, develop and manage players communities, which are the basis of competitive gaming”, the developer explains. “These requirements have never been necessary until today with the current forms of gaming for children, but from now on, taking into account the relationship of the very young with technology, they become essential because what young people of today and tomorrow expect are these evolved forms of gaming and no longer the traditional gaming. And the operators will have to be prepared.”
According to Ian Donegan, chief reporter for InterGame magazine and moderator of the debate: “There is no doubt that the future of amusement passes through this type of technology and competition. These phenomena are now part of the lives of young people and the entertainment industry can’t ignore them. We already see it today with the success that products such as Escape Rooms and the various virtual reality experiences are having and with the boom in esports in general. It is therefore an opportunity that the sector can’t miss out and we are already beginning to understand how they can be exploited”.
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A lot of news at the Eag International Expo 2020, the event that will take place in January, 14 – 16, at the ExCeL London. Eyes on the Italian case too.
In the three days of London dedicated to the entertainment sector, two days of conferences and insights with a special focus on Italy: between restrictions and new developments.
Italy is the center of worldwide attention (also) as regards the so-called “Amusement” market: that is, that of “pure entertainment”, made up of video games, pinball machines and foosball that everyone knows, but that too many continue to ignore: as politicians systematically do, in the face of a sector essentially abandoned by the legislator, that despite the various problems and regulation attempts some time ago (those who have a good memory will remember the reform proposed by the then undersecretary for games Alberto Giorgetti, written and never implemented), is still remained in limbo, waiting for who knows what. Except, however, that not all politics has continued to ignore the sector: unfortunately for the professionals, a few years ago, some regional administrators adressed the matter and, instead of proposing a reorganization or regulation of the market, thought of introducing, on the contrary, some restrictions: pointing at some of these games for children as “dangerous”, because preparatory to cause gaming addictions. Following the theory, that according to many it must be considered bizarre, proposed at the time by a tv show and followed by some critics who pointed the finger, in particular, against ticket redemptions. Well, the affair didn’t end at the moment, as one of the many boutades that often locally are born and die, with various regions that, on the contrary, carried on the battle against the sector, going to forbid to minors games only designed for minors. Although these games are present in practically all the markets in the world.
THE “ITALIAN CASE” OF TICKET REDEMPTIONS – Professionals know well this story and they fight it for some time now, trying to establish a contact with politics, asking to protect their activities and trying to understand that the offer of pure entertainment should be encouraged and not opposed, just as an antidote to gambling, if we really want to worry about addictions. But the message still seems to be unheard.
However, these movements had already been brought to the attention of other European subjects last year, explaining that the “Italian case” of ticket redemptions should not be considered as a purely national thing, as a possible ban on ticket redemptions on our country could affect the entire international industry and, even worse, inspire other European countries and beyond. For this reason, the subject had been presented at the last edition of the Eag Expo in London, last January, in a debate organized by GiocoNews.it, which was attended by representatives of the Italian industry together with Jason frost, president of the European federation of operators. A meeting that, in addition to arousing considerable international attention, had also led to the subsequent partnership between Euromat and Sapar and Consorzio Fee, for an agreement and a common action aimed at protecting the sector, signed at the next fair Enada of Rimini.
THE CONFERENCE IN LONDON – But unfortunately the “Italy case” has not yet been solved and, indeed, the situation continues to be compromised. For this reason, also in the 2020 edition of the Eag fair in London, scheduled in January, 14-16, we will talk about the Italian market and its problems again, in a new edition of the conference entitled: “Ticket redemptions: the future is at stake”, scheduled for Wednesday, January, the 15th at 12 pm. Once again, the Euromat’s President Jason Frost, together with the Sapar Service’s President, Paolo Dalla Pria, the New Asgi Italia’s president, Vanni Ferro and the gaming expert lawyer, Cino Benelli, will attend the event. And a veteran of entertainment like David Snook, InterGame’s columnist, will moderate it.
A LOOK AT THE FUTURE AND ESPORTS – But luckily we don’t have only problems. For this reason, in addition to looking at problems from a regulatory point of view, the London fair will also be an opportunity (and above all) to look to the future and new trends that promise to change and revolution the offer of the arcades at an international level. Also looking at the opportunities provided by the emerging eSports phenomenon. The other conference is dedicated to that, organized by GiocoNews.it and scheduled for Tuesday, the 14th, January at 3 pm, entitled: “Competitive video games in a competitive market”. What are the possible links between eSports and Amusement and what are the business opportunities? We wonders in the debate. And again: how are videogame competitions linked to the world of arcades and FECs? How can the scenario change with the diffusion of AR/AI in retail gaming? Gioco News talks about it with the main international experts. Some of the leading experts in the field talk about it, such as: Robert-M. Fankhänel, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Hologate; Jan Goetgeluk, founder and CEO of Virtuix and Giovanni Antonioli Fantini, CEO of Sandbox Games, developer together with Tecnoplay of the now famous Race Craft driving simulator, that is emerging in arcades all over the world, thanks to the competitive mode. Ian Donegan, chief reporter at InterGame & InterFun, will moderate the debate. In short, we will have a great time in London, trying to interpret the future of the sector, in our country and beyond.