2017 Summer Trip across China: Chinese Indie Games, Publishers, E-sports, VR & More!

This article will talk about interesting game industry topics (RPG, Strategy Games, MOBA, Game License Number, Publishing in China, IP, monetization, art, risks, etc.) LAI encountered during our summer business trip (May to early August 2017) in China. 

Heading to China

Watching San Francisco’s summertime fog rolling in from the ocean, bringing continuous waves of cold, we decided to celebrate summer in a proper (red hot) way. Across the Pacific, with so many exciting events and lined-up meetings covering hot topics such as new publishing regulations and the rise of indie games in Greater China area, we packed our bags and headed East.

On the way to China, we had a short stop at Singapore, where our CEO gave a presentation, Free Tools and Strategies for Publishing Your Games Globally at Casual Connect Asia 2017. After a short flight, we continued our conversations in major cities in China, the world’s biggest consumer of games.

(Graphic from LAI’s Game Market Analyzer app)

Why China?

China has always been a focus for LAI Global Game Services, as we continue to grow from a game localization provider to a next-generation global publisher. In 2012, LAI had localized Perfect World’s titles for the Brazilian market. The following year, we had our first booth at Chinajoy – this must-attend event is the largest annual game expo in China. Since then, we started working directly with game developers and publishers like Renren games, Longtu, Gaea, Firevale, and SteamyRice from China, helping them expand their territories across the globe. We also worked to bring games back the other way with western titles like SuperHot, Hovercraft, and Aviation Empire, titles that we helped to test, localize and launch in the Greater China area.

During this trip, we attended industry gatherings, visited clients and partners in their offices, built close relationships over dinner, and concluded the tour with Chinajoy (which we actually prefer to call “Sauna-joy” because of both the unavoidable summer heat and humidity, and the passionate but sweaty crowds). Flows of information, interesting thoughts and new ideas were exchanged between the East and the West. We’d love to share some of the most relevant notes to our global game community as part of LAI’s mission to help excellent games become known worldwide.

First Stop: Shanghai

Keywords: Nijigen (二次元), Asymmetrical Server (变态服)

It’s my second time coming to IC Cafe located in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park (上海张江科技园) for this kind of smaller-sized industry gathering. Hosted by one of the industry news channels called Game Tea House (游戏茶馆), publishers, distribution channels and developers were asked to pre-register to request a special invitation to get in. Even though it was seen as a small-sized gathering, at least 200 companies registered for the event. Tables were reserved for developers who wanted to demo their projects and get feedback. Most games were mobile projects, but there were a small number of PC games; for example, a PC soccer game developed by a small team from Hangzhou.

Japanese Influence: Nijigen

One of the most exciting mobile games was a “二次元” (nijigen) style RPG game. Nijigen, the Japan-inspired subculture has been spreading like wildfire among Chinese young adults. Nijigen literally means two dimensions. It refers to a type of fictitious setting in books, manga and anime and used in ACG (Anime, Cartoon and Games) subculture. This is in contrast to the real world we live in, called “三次元” (sanjigen) , which literally means three dimensions. After the successful launch of Netease’s Onmyoji game (《阴阳师》),the Nijigen style has brought a lot of attention to both the developers and its young gamers.

(Do an image search  for “二次元” and you’ll get some visual clues about the art style like above result.)

(Under this YouTube video titled “Which one you would choose: Three Dimensional or Two Dimensional?”, almost all comments replied they would choose Two Dimensional.)

A New Trend in China

It is also a great place to network. Among the huge crowd, I spotted many familiar faces. It’s always great to reconnect with industry friends to chat about the market climate and learn about any new trends, regulations, business models and market requirements. For example, during the conversation, I learned “变态服”, or “BT服”[1] (“Asymmetrical Server”) is becoming popular among smaller development teams in China nowadays. When a game comes to the end of its product lifecycle, to attract more users and maximize the ROI, the developer puts their game “on sale” on their official server (usually) by giving the gamers VIP status for free or with huge discounts, or modifying the numbers that control game balance. This brute force approach is intended to revamp asymmetric balance to give the gamers an overwhelmingly satisfying (or shall we call it “overpowering”) experience.

At the event, I was also able to put names and faces together for industry friends who I have conversed or worked with online but never seen in person. (Later on, I am informed that there is a nickname for this type of industry meetup – “meeting your online date” (“见网友”).) Even though a mutual friend’s introduction was always preferable, I enjoyed the open atmosphere while making acquaintances with other professionals on my own and marketing our global publishing and localization service.

Second Stop: Beijing

Keywords: SLG, 玛丽苏(Mary Sue)

Winning western markets is not easy for Asian game companies. But in recent years, a few Chinese companies like Elex (HQ in Beijing) and IGG (HQ and registered in Singapore) made themselves notable in western markets by publishing western style games. To be specific, they’ve generated significant revenue all due to one specific genre: Strategy Games.

One thing to point out is that when referring to “策略游戏” (“strategy games”) in China, people like to use the acronym “SLG”. [2] It is confusing because in western terminology, SLG usually stands for Simulation Game.

Bringing Chinese Games West

In Beijing, we connected with developers that hope to achieve success in western markets with various game genres and approaches[3]: from mid-core SLG to story-mode casual games. There is a 20-person development team that just got their SLG game featured on Google Play; they hope to become the next Elex or Kabam. Much like Silicon Valley, these former colleagues started their own venture when they saw a better way to work on a project together with a leaner and flatter structure.

On the other side of the array, some developers hope to win western gamers with their unique content utilizing fun and young Asian culture. One challenge to face is content localization. It is a battle between keeping a more authentic style or massaging the content with more local flavor. It is no easy job to tell a foreign-setting story in another language while keeping the original cultural elements. It is tricky to handle translating non-equivalent concepts, and economical and cultural values. The talented and creative localizers have to figure out a way to convey the message that makes sense to users in the most natural way. As a localizer myself, the whole process of struggling to produce amazing cultural products is a true form of performing art. If you are interested in reading more about visual adaptation, check out the transcription of Game Art Internationalization and Localization – An “East Meet West” interview by LAI.

The Race to Purchase IPs

Sitting in a conference room called “玛丽苏“ (“Mary Sue”) next to the famous Xi’erqi (西二旗) Station [4]in Beijing, we were invited to discuss the localization and publishing issues for a Chinese company that targets the teenager/young female market. They hosted a community-based AVG (Adventure) game site where everyone could make their own story mode game. Even though it came from a niche market idea, its 1940,000+ members have created 5370,000 projects with 750,000 under review and 30,000 published after audit, as of Oct. 2016. Its 1200 professional contractors also authored 8500 story-mode games. Unlike many Chinese game companies that need to purchase a IP license from well-known movies or manga series to attract user traffic, this platform has a fan-based community and has already generated many well-known IPs themselves. They’ve reversed the order that a game is an after-film product by owning their own IPs and producing films based on them for additional revenue.

Innovative Monetization

I was also quite amazed at how they’ve innovated the monetization, using not just one method, but many. For example, the gamers can pay tributes (flowers) to authors to encourage them to speed up and upload the next episodes; the authors can launch an auction allowing the highest bidder to  make decisions about where the plot will go; the gamers can pay for a feature called “God’s View” which unlocks extra content and allows the gamers to see the future or obtain a high-level understanding about the plot; the gamers can purchase extra tokens to get a hi-res poster with amazing details and fine art of the game with their favorite character…

However, the risk to consider when exporting this model is whether the game will generate enough interest and attract a large enough user base. The solutions we have come up with are a combination of PR campaigns, special interest forums, and building an English community base with both new IP content from local writers and existing Chinese games that are well-localized.

Third Stop: Chengdu

Keywords: CP, Game license (版号)

The article How to Be A B2B Pro When Working with Chinese Mobile Game Companies I wrote will give some pointers if you’re interested in navigating the market yourself. It also talks about the major game hubs in China. Chengdu is one of them. In the article, I also explained an often-used acronym which defines most companies in Chengdu:

CP = Content Provider = Game Developer

Chengdu, Strategic City of Game Industry on Hardcore Gamers published in June 2016 gives a good overall description of Chengdu. Most game companies are located in Tianfu Software Park (天府软件园). Game Tea House (located there as well) published an article with a map covering this in August 2017.

For instance, the development team TiMi-L1 (天美) studio behind the most famous mobile game in China nowadays, Strike of King (《王者荣耀》,also called King of Honor), is located here. (We will also talk more about this game later in this article.) In the recent GamesIndustry.biz podcast, you may also find content about Ubisoft’s Chengdu office. (However, China is not part of SE Asia. So Chengdu should not be considered as part of Southeast Asia market.)

I want to circle back to my B2B article which was written in 2014. Back then, the Chinese government didn’t require the licensing approval process. Thus, partnership with local Chinese publishers was not a must on the list at that time. You can find a lot of buzz on the internet nowadays talking about this. Basically, a game must have a game license number in order to be published in China. In order to get the license, the publisher or press and publishing houses must meet the qualification standards to apply for licenses. LAI is very knowledgeable about this situation and connected with the local game publishing community. Should you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us @ info@lai.com.

On August 12, 2017, GameLook’s official WeChat account posted an article saying that no South Korean companies (NCsoft, Netmarble) have been able to get any game licenses approved for publishing in China because of the political situation (THAAD deployment) since March, according to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s largest News Agency.

Fourth Stop: Shenzhen

Keywords: Tencent, Indie Games

On July 1, as Hong Kong commemorated the 20th anniversary of its return to China, President Xi witnessed signing of Greater Bay Area development agreement. Clustered with tech companies, and home to Tencent the largest video game company in the world (though it makes most of its money domestically), Shenzhen is the stop we wouldn’t want to miss. This article Can China’s “Greater Bay Area” Match Its New Year and San Francisco Counterparts? gives some good information about Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macau Greater Bay Area.


According to DFC Intelligence’s report on mobile game companies released in July 2017, “China has become the world leader in games and Tencent is far and away the leading player in China.” Many believe that Tencent’s distribution coverage of WeChat and QQ has contributed heavily to its success in games with user acquisition and profiling advantages. At LAI, we used WeChat on a daily basis when in China – for instance, messaging with our clients, calling a DiDi taxi, using WeChat Pay to pay vendors on the street. Here is an article from the Economist which gives a good overview of WeChat.

One Tencent game I personally like to play is Strike of Kings. It is a MOBA game that was launched in 2015 and has many similar features to Riot Games’ League of Legends (Riot Games is also owned by Tencent). Compared to LoL, it has shorter sessions, smaller maps and simpler controls. Therefore, it also attracts many casual gamers (especially young female users) that had never played this type of game before. It is so popular that it has become a socializing phenomenon among students – if you don’t play the game and talk about which heroes you like or not, you will feel left out at school. However, its addictive gameplay also concerns a lot of parents. After People’s Daily published an article echoing these parents’ voices, reports say Tencent lost $17.5 billion in market value. Tencent has responded to the social issue by adding a daily time limit of one hour for players under the age of 12, banning them from logging into the game after 9pm, and a daily limit of two hours for players between the ages of 12 and 18.

(Strike of Kings’ login page)

Growing Popularity of E-Sports

I remember before I kicked off my summer trip, one early morning I was awakened by my parents’ “urgent” WeChat messages sent from China (their afternoon). They took photos about an E-sports scene with young crowds in their favorite shopping mall. The message said “We saw a large crowd – mostly young people- applauding and cheering in front of a big screen. We wanted to share their excitement, so sat down for half an hour to watch. But we failed to understand what was going on and felt left out. The world is developing so fast and we need your help to follow up!” It turned out that Strike of King ’s championship was hosted in this mall. The spacious hall area near the entrance of the mall used to be the retailer’s battlefield to do special promotions showcasing their newest products. But nowadays, E-sports is taking over the foot traffic audience.

With other news like “E-sports major offered by Chinese universities”, “creating an entire town dedicated to E-sports ”, and “15 billion Esports investment in the next 5 years” , I couldn’t wait to catch up with my friend who works as a project manager for E-sports promotions at Tencent IEG when I was in Shenzhen. Before the visit, I asked if I could come later in the day because of the summer heat. She answered of course, because her normal days wouldn’t end until 11pm (sometimes even between 1-3am). There were many takeaways from the 5 hour conversation, from hot topics like how live streaming on most popular channels becomes one of the most illuminating PR and marketing efforts for Strike of Kings, to high-level questions like how Tencent keeps scaling up in games as a giant by being vigilant of the market and encouraging its internal and external partners with inter-team competition.

The Rise of Indie Developers in China

Many industry friends joke about the current market situation. “There are only two game companies in China now: Tencent and Others.” To battle against a winner-takes-all situation, the concept of “indie games” is starting to spread around in China. Though only within one short year, it has shifted its meaning from a game that is created by a small group of developers without the financial support of a publisher to a game that has a unique art style and creative gameplay that does not normally follow the tried-and-true formula of “IP + market-proven code + changed art/skin”, so common with bigger investment games. It’s the publishers that are often in the “Others” category who want to be a part of the movement and are investing heavily in this trend.

We met with two companies in Shenzhen who have similar needs. They hoped to import westernindie games” to China, and asked for LAI’s help. They are not alone. Other Chinese publishers from Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai have also signed partner agreements with LAI. They each have a unique specialty in genre and attribution channels. If you are a developer that is interested in checking out China’s market, we can match you up with one of these publishers who are eager for creative western style games.

(A western developer talks about their experience as their game was taken down by the Chinese government without a proper game license in China at this year’s Chinajoy. )

Teaming up with DFC Intelligence, LAI developed a free tool GMA (Game Market Analyzer) app for iOS to support the global game community powered by actual global market data and match-making service on the app. Here is the Press Release for more info. We are always adding regional publishers and partners to our free app. To support this initiative, our team is running an official GMA contest with free game localization as the price.

Last Stop: Shanghai (Chinajoy)

Keywords: VR
Chinajoy is the largest annual game show in China and Asia. It is held in Shanghai New International Expo Center each year around the end of July, usually 3 days for B2B exhibition area and 4 days for B2C. There are also conferences with different themes (CDEC/CGBC/CGDC/WMGC) going on at the same time, and an area for Cosplay competition. It is the busiest time for BD (business development) professionals during the year. Industry organizations and large companies will also sponsor events in the afternoon or for after-event parties in the night. It is very common for a BD to attend 4 or 5 parties or private gatherings each day to meet as many industry friends as possible. At least one of the dinner gatherings will be spicy crayfish.


A big difference I noticed this year compared to last year is the intensity of VR. Last year, VR sessions had the largest ballroom and were packed with excited people at the CGDC conference. Well, this year, it was in the corner room at the very end of the hall. William, one of the speakers for the VR session started his speech with “only the real VR fans are in the room now”.  At VR sessions, most of the speakers gave a good overview on their target gamers and platforms from their perspectives. Besides choosing a good theme and storyline, user behavior seems to be the center of game design consideration. For instance, as HTC has invested heavily in China for its VR experience stores, HTC Vive is usually considered by developers presented in Chinajoy as an experience-oriented device generating big movements (when standing up) and exhilaration in a short period of time for first time VR users, like shooting games. PSVR is considered as a home device that hardcore gamers play sitting down and are more comfortable spending a longer time on a more immersive story mode game.

Here are some additional information from Tencent about VR market consumer profiling in China.

(Source from: https://virtualrealitypop.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-chinese-vr-market-ccd8a5c5b85c)

In conclusion, it was a very rewarding trip, reconnecting with industry friends while getting updates on the biggest game market on the planet and establishing new partnerships.

If you’re interested in knowing more about any of the topics I’ve touched on in this article, or if you have any other questions about terms I’ve used, or anything about global publishing or China publishing, feel free to shoot me an e-mail (michelle@lai.com) or LAI (info@lai.com). We may be able to help out.

About LAI Global Game Services

LAI Global Game Services is a full service game localization, marketing, and publishing company with 25 years of experience in the video game industry.

LAI opened its doors in 1993, back when the original Doom was released!

The company’s free iOS app, the Game Market Analyzer (GMA), is available on the App Store. GMA helps developers and publishers easily assess the best global markets for their games.

Feedback submitted about GMA to info@lai.com can qualify you for a chance to win free game localization! (Read contest details for more information.)

[1] Later on, I found an interesting article by Game House’s CEO Jialun Wang about the popularity of BT服 among smaller developers who have difficulty applying for a game license. It is only available in Chinese though: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/27577381

[2] Reference from Baidu Zhidao (Baidu knowledge): https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/5019620.html)

[3] There is a four-character saying in Chinese: 殊途同归 (reach the same goal with different approaches).

[4] Xi’erqi Station is next to Zhongguancun Science Park – many people consider it as China’s Silicon Valley. Xi’erqi is also famous for being crowded in rush hour. Business Insider featured it back in 2013 with a video.

Video Game Conferences January-October 2014

Check out our new podcast on iTunes – LocaLAIse This!


It’s a job and a half finding all of the industry conferences and events happening around the world, so we made life easier for you by providing a comprehensive list of video game conferences and locations/dates.  We even included relevant Twitter pages so you can stay up to date on the latest conference news and updates.  You can find the conferences LAI will be attending by looking for the events highlighted in purple.

This list may not be complete and may not reflect the most recent information available.  Please check the relevant webpages to learn more about these conferences.

If there are any conferences we missed, please let us know @LanguageAutoInc.  We greatly appreciate and encourage feedback!  We also have a Twitter list of 70+ video game conferences.  Subscribe now to easily stay on top of conference updates.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive monthly conference updates.  Enjoy!


January 7-10, 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada @IntlCES

The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, serving as the event for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years. Registration opens October 1st. On-site registration fee begins January 2nd at $200.

January 22-23, 2014 Mobile Games Forum and Social Games & Virtual Goods Forum at Novotel in London @GamesForum @VirtualGoodsUK @VGSummit

The definitive global event where over 400 of the industry’s most influential stakeholders, 120 speakers (including 29 of the top 50 developers in the world, 30 sponsors and key media converge to set the agenda on the hottest issues in mobile entertainment. Attendees are able to plan meetings ahead of time through access to a meeting planner. Early bird business pass available until December 20th at £1999, conference pass at £999, thereafter £2999 for a business pass and £1299 for a conference pass. Developer pass available for 25 studios at £499.

January 23-27, 2014 Taipei Game Show in Taipei, Taiwan

Last year’s Taipei Game Show was the largest gaming event in Taiwan, with over 300,000 visitors and 400 booths. Check website for pricing information.

February 4-6, 2014 DICE Summit at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV @DICESummit

DICE Summit 2014 is an exclusive high-level conference, gathering the brightest and most creative minds dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression. Past speakers have included Shigeru Miyamoyo, creator of Mario and The Legend of Zelda and Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve. Active business member early bird fee available through November 8th at $2050, general fee through December 20th at $2300, and late fee through January 24th at $2575. Non-member early bird fee available through November 8th at $2775, general fee through December 20th at $3050, and late fee through January 24th at $3400.

February 7-8, 2014 Winter Nights Mobile Games Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia

The Winter Nights: Mobile Games Conference is an international mobile game development and marketing conference, with over 800 decision-markers, developers, publishers, and other professionals from over 300 companies. Early bird registration ends January 17th, with standard passes available for $250, premium passes for $350, and premium+ passes for $400.

February 11-13, 2014 Casual Connect Europe at Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Casual Connect is the premiere event for the casual games industry with over 6500 professionals attending Casual Connect each year. Early bird registration of €350 ($450) until January 18th, standard registration of €350 ($450). Premium pass available at an early bird rate until January 18th at €500 ($650), thereafter €575 ($750).

February 14-16, 2014 IndieCade East in New York City, NY @IndieCade

The IndieCade Festival is the only stand-alone independent-focused game event in the nation and includes festival workshops, keynotes, family-focused activities, meet-and-greets, and hands-on gameplay. All access available on site at $450, festival plus at $300.

February 17-19, 2014 Digital Kids Conference in New York City, NY @DigitalKidsCon

The 8th annual conference is a “must-attend event” for professionals engaging with children online and on digital devices. All access super early pass available through November 15th at $595, early rate through January 17th at $695, online rate through February 7th at $795, and on site at $995.

February 21, 2014 Play4Agile in Johannesberg, Germany @Play4Agile

Play4Agile provides an open playground to inspire each other and to learn how using serious games can help us achieve our goals. Sold out.

February 27, 2014 Hamburg Games Conference at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany

This conference informs attendees of how to protect themselves against hackers and cyber threats. Check website for pricing information.

March 1-3, 2014 Guangzhou Game Show at China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Compex in China  LAI will be attending!

This conference brings together worldwide professionals across the digital interactive game industry. Check website for registration and fee information.

March 10-12, 2014 GAMEON-Asia in Singapore

GAME-ON brings together researchers and games industry professionals from Asia and abroad in order to exchange ideas on techniques and research findings. Check website for registration and fee information.

March 17-19, 2014 Game Connection America at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, CA @The_GameCo

Buckle up for another year of record-breaking attendance, and join more than 1800 attendees, 200 exhibitors and 250 certified buyers to engage in networking, business, and lively conversation. Check website for registration and fee information.

March 17-21, 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC) at Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA @Official_GDC @IGFNews

Be a part of the world’s largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, with over 22,500 attendees, the Localization Summit, the Independent Games Festival, and the Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit. Early bird all access pass available until January 31st at $1475, main conference pass at $995, summits/tutorials/bootcamps pass at $695, expo pass at $195. Early bird regular pass available until March 12th at $1975, main conference pass at $1350, summits/tutorials/bootcamps pass at $795, expo pass $250. Early bird onsite pass available at $2100, main conference pass $1475, summits/tutorials/bootcamps pass at $895, expo pass at $250. LAI will be attending!

April 3-7, 2014 Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

FDC 2014 is a focal point for academic efforts in all areas of research and education involving games, game technologies, gameplay, and game design. Registration is now closed.

April 7-8, 2014 Cloud Gaming Europe in London, UK

Cloud Gaming Europe is Europe’s largest video game network and cloud gaming event, bringing together senior level decision makers from publishers, developers, network architecture companies, and investors. The super early bird business pass is available until January 17th at £995 (£1395 thereafter), and the super early bird basic pass is available for £695 (£995 after January 17th).

April 11-13, 2014 PAX East at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) in Boston, MA  @Official_PAX

PAX East doubled in size each year since its start in 2004 until venue capacities were reached, and when PAX expanded from Washington to Boston in 2010, tens of thousands attended. With tournaments, concerts, a handheld lounge, and widely attended speaker sessions, there’s something for everyone at PAX. Individual day passes available at $40, three day passes available at $75.

April 14-15. 2014 VentureBeat Mobile Summit 2014 in Sausalito, CA @VentureBeat

The mobile industry’s top 180 influencers meet at the VentureBeat Mobile Summit to discuss how to accelerate adoption, engagement, and monetization. Check website for registration and fee details.

April 22-24 & 26 Games for Change in New York City @G4C

Games for Change is the largest gaming event in New York City and the leading international event uniting games for change creators with those who believe in the positive power of digital games. General admission available at $550, nonprofit/government admission available at $450, student admission available at $150.

April 23, 2014 Game Marketing Summit (GMS) in San Francisco @GameMarketers

The Game Marketing Summit (GMS) is the must-attend annual event for marketing professionals in the interactive game business. Check website for registration and fee details.

April 23-24, 2014 Festival of Games in Amsterdam, Holland @NLGD

The Festival of Games unites game development professionals, hosting a pitch and match session to connect organizations. Check website for registration and fee details.

April 23-24, 2014 Feria andina de juegos de azar/Andern Gaming Trade Show (FADJA) in Columbia @FADJA_COLOMBIA

FADJA connects game industry professionals in Columbia and abroad. Check website for registration details.

April 23-24, 2014 East Coast Game Conference 2014 (ECGC) at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, NC

ECGC 2014 is in its 6th year and remains the largest gathering of video game professionals on the East Coast. Early bird conference passes are available until December 31st at $125, and early bird premier passes are available until December 31st at $270. LAI will be attending!

April 23-25, 2014 EvoGames in Granada, Spain

This event focuses on new computational intelligence or biologically inspired techniques that may be of practical value for improvement of existing games or creation of new games, as well as an innovative uses of games to improve or test computational intelligence algorithms. Regular pass available until March 31st at 410 GBP, 535 GBP thereafter. Student pass available until March 31st at 205 GBP, 300 GBP thereafter.

April 24, 2014 F2P Summit in London @F2PSummit

The F2P Summit features a top notch line-up of speakers with vast experience in designing free-to-play games, analytics gurus, monetisation experts, and player behaviour specialists.

April 26-27, 2014 Reboot Develop 2014 in Zagreb, Croatia

Reboot connects game industry professionals across the Adriatic region through an event organized by Reboot Magazine. Attendance fee available for 85.00€.

May 5-6, 2014 Mobile Gaming USA in San Francisco @MobileGamingUSA

The video game industry’s biggest players including Kabam, SGN, Supercell, King, Glu, Unity, Perfect World and many more will come together to tackle the industry’s burning questions and provide your business with the perfect platform for mobile gaming success. Basic pass is available at $1195 until April 25th, $1295 thereafter. Business pass is available at $1495 until April 25th, $1595 thereafter. Diamond pass is available at $2995 until April 25th, $3095 thereafter. LAI will be attending!

May 7-8, 2014 NeuroGaming Conference and Expo 2014 at the Metreon in San Francisco, CA @NeuroGameConf

The NeuroGaming conference is where mind and body meet gameplay, featuring neurogame developers’ work on the latest emotional, cognitive, sensory, and behavioral technologies to create radically compelling experiences to engage and entertain gamers worldwide. Early bird full conference passes are available until January 15th at $650 (indie developer price $250), regular full conference passes are available until April 7th at $850 (indie developer price $350), and late full conference passes are available at $1150 (indie developer at $550).

May 7-8, 2014 GameHorizon at The Sage in Newcastle, UK @GameHorizon

GameHorizon aims to be Europe’s most relevant forward-looking games industry event, with a combination of inspirational sessions, debate, and networking. Tickets are available for £180 or £270.

May 14-15, 2014 Game Monetisation Europe 2014 in London

Europe’s only summit dedicated to monetization. Check website for registration and fee details.

May 15-16, 2014 DevGAMM! in Moscow, Russia @DevGamm

Mobile, online, and indie game conference for developers and publishers. Indie registration at $95, and business registration at $150.

May 16-18, 2014 INTERGAME 2014 at the Estonian Fairs in Tallinn, Estonia

A wide spectrum of gaming professionals is anticipated from across Europe. Check website for registration and fee details.

May 20-22, 2014 Casual Connect Asia in Singapore @CasualConnect

The Casual Games Association connects professionals at conferences around the world and provides educational resources and community support for those involved in creating games for the mass market consumer. Standard registration available at an early bird price of $300 until April 26th, $350 thereafter. Premium registration available at an early bird price of $450 until April 26th, $650 thereafter.

May 21-23, 2014 Nordic Game Conference in Malmö, Sweden @NordicGame

The Nordic Game Conference engages global speakers and has a pitch and match sessions to connect businesses – a combination of a targeted audience, online meeting system, and personal matchmaker. Check back for registration information.

May 25-27, 2014 Ottawa International Game Conference (OIGC) @OIGConf

Founded and managed directly by Ottawa’s fast-growing gaming industry, the events focus on building business relationships, sharing best practices and continuing to establish the city as an emerging development centre with international and local speakers, a showcase of games and technologies, and an opportunity for new talent to connect with studios. Space is limited – reserve your tickets ASAP! Early bird conference pass available at $300 Canadian dollars plus a small fee. Regular conference pass available at $400 Canadian dollars plus a small fee. Indie dev pass available at $250 Canadian dollars plus a small fee. Early bird student pass available at $175 Canadian dollars plus a small fee. Regular student pass available at $210 Canadian dollars plus a small fee. Other passes available on the OIGC website.

May 27-30, 2014 The Android Developer Conference (AnDevCon) at the Sheraton in Boston, MA  @AnDevCon

AnDevCon is the world’s largest Android Developer Training Conference, serving as a technical conference for software developers building Android apps. The full conference plus pre-conference tutorials pass is available through January 17th at $1195, February 14th at $1295, March 21st at $1345, April 18th at $1395, May 16th at $1495, and $1795 thereafter. Full conference passes are available through January 17th at $945, February 14th at $995, March 21st at $1095, April 18th at $1195, May 16th at $1295, and $1595 thereafter.

May 28-29, 2014? Game Connection Asia in Shanghai, China

Game Connection Asia features back-to-back meetings, a streamlined meeting application, and classes. Check back for registration details.

May 2014 Flash GAMM in Moscow, Russia

The conference gathers representatives of leading social and flash game companies, small studios, and independent developers. Check back for exact dates and registration details.

May 2014? GameConnection Asia

May 2014? Kontagent Konnect @Kontagent

May 2014? Russian Game Developer’s Conference (KRI)

June 2-7, 2014 Computex Taipei in Taipei, Taiwan @computex_taipei

Computex Taipei is the largest computer exhibition in Asia and the second largest in the world. Check the conference website for pricing information.

June 5, 2014 Web Game Conference in Paris, France @WebGameConf

The Web Game Conference is the conference for leaders and innovators of the web, social and mobile game industry, organized by the SNJV, France’s Videogame trade Association. Early bird registration available for €75.00 until May 1st.

June 10-12, 2014 E3 Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA @E3Expo

E3 is the world’s premier tradeshow for computer games, video games, and related products, drawing tens of thousands of professionals to experience the future of interactive entertainment. Expo pass available for $795 through April 27th, $995 thereafter.

June 10-13, 2014 The Gamification Summit @GSummit2014

Over 4 days, hear from 50+ expert speakers and engage in workshops covering gamification, customer loyalty, employee engagement, and behavior science. Even earn a Certification in Gamification Design in GSummit’s limited space workshop on June 10th! Early bird conference only pass available until January 24th at $595. Early bird conference pass with Advanced Gamification Certification Workshop available until January 24th at $1795. (Special prices available for alumni.)

June 12-13, 2014 Social Casino Gaming Summit at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV

Discover what strategies the major offline operators are pursuing and insight into the mobile development strategies from the top 10 in the social casino space. Basic pass available at $1,095 until April 25th, $1,295 thereafter. Business pass available at $1,395 until April 25th, $1,595 thereafter. Diamond pass available at $2,895 until April 25th, $3,095 thereafter.

June 16-17, 2014 Games for Change (G4C) @G4C

Games for Change is the largest gaming event in NYC and brings together funders, NGOs, corporations, government agencies, and educators seeking to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good with leading game developers. Check back for registration information.

June 18-20, 2014 Games for Health Conference 2014 @GamesforHealth

Games for Health is the leading professional community in the field of health games, bringing together the best minds in game development and healthcare to advance game technologies that improve health and the delivery of healthcare. Tutorials & Communities Day pass available for $199. Games for Health Core pass available for $499. Games for Health Total pass available for $599.

June 23-25, 2014 Canadian Gaming Summit in Vancouver, British Columbia @CDNGamingSummit

The Canadian Gaming Summit is Canada’s premier annual conference and exhibition for gaming professionals. Gaming Delegate pass available at $745 until May 16th, $845 thereafter. Charitable Gaming Conference Delegate pass available at $445 until May 16th, $545 thereafter. Charitable Gaming Conference/Gaming Delegate pass available at $795 until May 16th, $895 thereafter.

July 8-10, 2014 Develop 2014 in Brighton, UK  @DevelopConf

Europe’s leading developer conference where the community meets to learn, share experiences, be inspired by experts and network. 1 day pass available at £285 until May 7th, £315 until June 4th, and £385 thereafter. 2 day pass available at £465 until May 7th, £495 until June 4th, £640 thereafter. 3 day pass available at £545 until May 7th, £595 until June 4th, £745 thereafter. Audio pass, indie dev day pass, and academic passes also available.

July 14-16, 2014 Social Casino Summit at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, CA

ScS discussions will bring established social casino leaders and those aspiring to defy them to explore the next opportunities in product design and innovation, licensing, metagames and partnerships. Super early bird rate available at $1,399 until April 25th ($1,599 for a GiGse Pass or $1,999 for a combined pass). Early bird rate available at $1,599 until May 30th ($1,799 for a GiGse Pass or $2,249 for a combined pass). Standard rate pass available at $1,699 until July 11th ($1,899 for a GiGse Pass or $2,349 for a combined pass). Onsite rate available at $1,849 until July 12th ($2,049 for a GiGse Pass or $2,499 for a combined pass).

July 17-19, 2014 Videogame Cultures & the Future of Interactive Entertainment at Mansfield College, Oxford

This inter- and multi-disciplinary conference aims to examine, explore, and critically engage with the issues and implications created by the mass use of computers and videogames for human entertainment and focus on the impact of innovative videogame titles and interfaces for human communication and ludic culture. Check back for registration information.

July 22, 2014 Serious Play Conference in at USC in Los Angeles, CA  @SeriousPlayConf

The Serious Play Conference is a leadership conference for professionals who embrace the idea that games can revolutionize learning. 3 day conference professional pass available at $550 plus a fee through May 30th. Other student and faculty passes available on conference website.

July 22-24, 2014 Casual Connect in San Francisco, California  @CasualConnect

Casual Connect is the place to learn more about an industry which entertains over a billion people each month. Standard early bird pass available at $500 until June 21st. Standard registration pass available at $575 until July 12th. Standard late registration pass available at $650 until July 19th. Premium and VIP passes also available.

July 24-26, 2014 Christian Game Developers Conference (CGDC) at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon

The Christian Game Developers Conference brings together developers interested in creating games inspired by Christianity. Check back for registration information.

July 28-30, 2014 19th International Conference on Computer Games: AI, Animation, Interactive Multimedia, Virtual Worlds & Serious Games (CGAMESUSA 2014)

CGAMESUSA is an excellent chance to network with people in your field, as it connects people intent on advancing the theory and practice of computer games development. Early bird registration for IEEE members available at $400 until April 2nd, non-IEEE members at $450. Regular registration for IEEE members available at $500 after April 3rd, non-IEEE members at $550.

July 31-August 3, 2014 ChinaJoy 2014 - The 12th China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference 2014 in Shanghai, China  @ChinaJoyExpo

The 12th China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference 2014 (ChinaJoy 2014), a platform for the comprehensive development of Chinese electronics products, with roughly 180,000 visitors, exhibitors, and professionals and 10,000 journalists, making it the largest trade show in China’s digital entertainment field. Checking conference page for registration information.

August 11-13, 2014 GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany @GDC_Europe

The Game Developers Conference Europe is the largest professionals only game industry event in Europe. Early bird all access pass available at 695€ until July 16th. Regular all access pass available at 795€ until August 6th. Onsite all access pass available at 895€. Independent Game Summit and student passes also available.

August 13-17, 2014 gamescom in Cologne, Germany @gamescomcologne

Over 340,000 visitors meet in Europe to talk about the game industry. Day ticket available for 29.00 EUR until August 12th. 3 day ticket available for 57.00 EUR.

August 20-22, 2014 Unite 2014 in Seattle, Washington

At Unite, you’ll learn how to mine Unity tools for more power and flexibility and get a sneak peek at upcoming product features and services. Super early bird tickets available at $300 plus a small fee. Student conference pass available at $180 plus a small fee. Training day pass available at $100 plus a small fee.

August 27-28, 2014 PAX Dev in Seattle, Washington @Official_PAX

PAX Dev is about elevating the art and creating a place to share, debate, and learn. Early bird pass available at $279. Student conference available at $229.

September 8, 2014 DMW Games – NY Games Conference in New York  @DMWEvents

Hundreds of industry leaders gather at the New York Games Conference to network, make deals, and share ideas about the future of games and connected entertainment. Early bird passes available at $299 plus a small fee until June 2nd, $599 plus a small fee thereafter.

September 13, 2014 Boston Festival of Indie Games (BostonFIG) in Boston @BostonFIG

The Boston Festival of Indie Games celebrates independent game development in New England and neighboring regions. Check back for registration information.

September 23-24, 2014 D. I. C. E Europe in London  @Official_AIAS

D.I.C.E. is an exclusive high-level conference, gathering the brightest and most creative minds dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression. Early bird pass available at £1495 until August 22, and £1695 thereafter.

October 9-12, 2014 IndieCade in Culver City, California  @IndieCade

The IndieCade Festival is the only stand-alone independent-focused game event in the nation and includes festival workshops, keynotes, family-focused activities, meet-and-greets, and hands-on gameplay. $445 early-bird pass available, $495 standard pass, $525 at the door.

October 19-21, 2014 GDC China in Shanghai, China @GDC_China

With support from major local and national government entities, GDC China aims to advance the state of digital entertainment in China by incorporating GDC’s top-quality content and worldwide community reach. Alumni all access pass available at ¥4200 before July 5th, early bird pass at ¥5250, and regular pass at ¥6550. Alumni main conference pass available at ¥3200, early bird pass at ¥4000, and regular pass at ¥5000. Summit and tutorials pass also available.

October 21-22, 2014 Digital Kids Summit in San Francisco  @digitalkidscon

Digital Kids Summit gives you what you need to know to create best-selling kids digital entertainment and learning products. Early bird all-access pass available at $395 until September 19, regular pass at $495 until October 17, and onsite pass at $595.

October 29-31, 2014 Game Connection Europe in Porte de Versailles, Paris

Having added over 100 conference sessions and Master Classes to its successful formula over the previous three years, Game Connection Europe is back with a brand new edition and is looking for talented and experienced professionals interested in sharing their expertise. Conference passes available at 90€, and business passes available at 1990€.

October 31-November 2, 2014 PAX Aus 2014 in Melbourne, Vic @PAXAus

With tournaments, concerts, a handheld lounge, and widely attended speaker sessions, there’s something for everyone at PAX. 1 day pass available at $55. 3 day pass available at $150.


Check back for an updated list as more video game conference dates and details are announced!