What’s on at PLAY Expo Manchester 2017

The North’s biggest ever video gaming expo returns for its sixth year at the huge EventCity exhibition centre in Manchester with an expected 25,000 attendees!
The two-time award nominated show will once again be jam packed to the gills with loads of features, tournaments, exhibitors and oodles of video gaming mayhem. With everything you love about gaming and popular culture all under one roof, the show has something for everyone and is not to be missed.

Tickets are on sale now at www.playexpomanchester.com – here what is lined up for the show so far!

Nintendo 64 Goldeneye 20th Anniversary Panel

It is a truth universally recognised that video games based on film licenses are invariably terrible, so when GoldenEye was released in 1997, two years after the movie had come out and to little fanfare, expectations were not high. It went on to sell 8 million copies and still features in the upper end of those ‘Best Ever Video Games’ lists to this day. The game was made by a small team at Rare Ltd compromising just nine core members and to mark the 20th Anniversary of GoldenEye, we are delighted to welcome five of that original group to talk about the creation of this seminal shooter. The Q&A, hosted by Paul Drury and Martyn Carroll of Retro Gamer magazine, will end with an opportunity for audience members to take on the makers of the game in a multiplayer deathmatch, with prizes.

Massive ‘Spectrum Sunday’ feature and Panel

REPLAY EVENTS and MEMOIRS of a SPECTRUM ADDICT are proud to announce a fabulous 8-bit union on Sunday 15th October at PLAY Expo Manchester. Calling it, SPECTRUM SUNDAY, you are be invited to watch a 40 minute segment of the film, Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict, followed by a Q&A panel including director Andy Remic and starring the stars of the film Andrew Hewson, Jon Hare, Steve Turner, Rich Stevenson, Simon Butler, Jim Bagley, Mark R. Jones, Mev Dinc and others pending confirmation! Want to fulfil your ultimate fan boy ZX Spectrum experience? Well, you need to set your SatNav for PLAY Expo in Manchester on Sunday 15th October 2017. Copies of the film will also be available to purchase, and no-doubt there to sign by the stars of the ZX Spectrum world! Come and relive the 80s, Spectrum style!

Psygnosis Panel and Q&A

We’re very excited to be able to announce that we will have a panel talk and Q&A with a number of former Psygnosis team members at PLAY Expo Manchester this October. Psygnosis was formed in 1985, was acquired by Sony Electronic Publishing in 1993 and became SCE Studio Liverpool. The studio closed in 2010 but during their lifetime Psygnosis created and published many iconic games – from 16-bit classics such as Lemmings and Shadow of the Beast through to the massive Wipeout franchise on the PS1 along with G-Police and Colony Wars. A number of former employees will be joining us for the panel – confirmed so far are Mike Clarke, Martin Linklater, Chris Graham and Mike Kaiser with more to be added. Mike Clarke said “PLAY Expo is always a great event and what better place to meet with old colleagues and talk about our experiences in the early years of the game industry. Psygnosis was a very dynamic place there are many stories to tell about what it was like to work there!”

Indie Showcase Titles Revealed

We love our Indies at PLAY Expo Manchester! This year we’ve got our biggest indie zone ever bringing a variety of games across all formats. Our Indie showcase has long been one of the most popular sections of PLAY Expo Manchester and it’s important to us to see the Indie scene grow and thrive by introducing their titles to a wider audience. This year, we’ve managed to outdo ourselves and can look forward to the broadest and most eclectic series of titles ever appearing at the event. Here are the first twenty games that will be playable at the show with more to follow:

  • Silo Black Games – Boom Boom Barbarian
  • Hut 90 – Akuto: Mad World
  • Hope for Hopeless Studios – The Tension
  • Leda Entertainment – Bullion
  • Noskyvisible – Time Runner
  • 1st Impact Games – All Contact Lost
  • LimeVibe Games – Space Toads Mayhem
  • Popup Asylum – BeeBeeQ
  • All iN – ERSATZ
  • Warpfish Games Limited – Razed
  • Huey Games – Hyper Sentinel
  • Onion Soup Interactive – Nippon Marathon
  • Ginger Biscuit Games – OAOA – Off And On Again
  • OceanSpark Studios – Tetra, Elemental Awakening
  • SinisterSoft – RetroStar
  • Gemi Games – Super Lumi Live
  • Chronik Spartan – Glo

The Dark Room

We are really excited to announce that critically acclaimed interactive game ‘The Dark Room’ will be at PLAY Expo Manchester on both Saturday and Sunday. Come and play the world’s first live-action text-based adventure game! It’s a choose-your-own-adventure! So choose it! The Dark Room blurs the lines between comedy and game show and is enjoyed by gamers, non-gamers, teens and parents. Originally an interactive YouTube game, the Dark Room went viral and attracted more than 4 million views. Comedian John Robertson then transformed the game into a live show, and so far, has enjoyed sell out shows at Insomnia Gaming Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, EB Games Expo and MCM Comic Con. Please note that ‘The Dark Room’ is a ticketed feature at PLAY Expo Manchester. We have negotiated a show-exclusive ticket price of just £5.00 per person and entry numbers are limited to 300 people each day.

Fighting game tournaments and exhibition at PLAY Expo Manchester

An exciting exhibition clash between two gaming scenes will be shown live at Play Expo Manchester on October 14th! Hometown heroes from England led by Manchester Battle Arena take on the combined might of Versus Scotland in a showdown across five different competitive fighting games.
The games played will be Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator 2, King of Fighters XIV, and the brand new Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite in a series of one-on-one exhibitions. Well known tournament players from both countries are set to duke it out, with a high skill level sure to be shown across all games. If you want to experience the very best that the UK fighting games scene has to offer this October, PLAY Expo Manchester is where you can catch the explosive action!

Escape Rooms

In Escape Rooms you are locked in a room with friends, family or work colleagues for half an hour and have to solve a series of puzzles and mysteries to escape. You will have to search high and low for clues and work together if you want to escape. You have 30 minutes to escape by using only your brain and there are no physical activities or challenges involved in the game. Escape Rooms are a mixture of The Crystal Maze, The Cube, Saw, Prison Break, Fort Boyard, The Mole, The Amazing Race, The Great Escape and Knightmare! It is a unique experience and one that will stay with you for a long time. Each room is carefully designed to ensure maximum entertainment value. If you are looking for a fun group activity that is slightly different this is the activity for you. We have had three special rooms created for us at PLAY Expo Manchester this year by Escape Room specialists Breakout Manchester. We are running thirty minute sessions again for teams of up to five people with a show exclusive admission price.

Tabletop Gaming

Our Tabletop Gaming area continues to grow in size each year and for PLAY Expo Manchester 2017 we will have a selection of card and board games to play, demonstrations of new games from specialists Esdevium Games and a number of retailers selling the latest games for you to try and buy. Esdevium will be bringing the following titles for you to try: Dobble, Cortex, Story Cubes, Codenames, Duet, Ticket to Ride: Europe, Carcassonne, Blood Rage, Dice Forge, Pandemic Iberia, Cash ‘n’ Guns, Timeline, X-Wing, Jungle Speed, Century – Spice Road, NMBR9, Yamatai. Fan Boy Three will also be attending and will be running some TCG tournaments as well as some learn to play events. The confirmed tournaments so far will a Final Fantasy Tournament (free entry) and a pre-release Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament (paid entry). Schedules will be released a week before the show.

Next-Gen Gaming

Bring out the big guns! The next-gen zone at PLAY Expo Manchester is where you can play all the latest cutting edge games for the latest powerhouse machines! Come and get your hands on upcoming games before they are available to buy in the shops. As well as this our own next-gen gaming zone will have a selection of the latest AAA games from the PS4 and Xbox One such as Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Halo Wars 2, Injustice 2, Tekken 7, WipEout Omega Collection and Yooka Laylee. We will also have a number of Xbox Live and PSN games running – the quirkier and leftfield titles you may not have seen before. For PC fans we’ll have a smattering of high spec PCs running the latest and greatest independently produced multiplayer games.

Retro Gaming

We know one of the biggest draws for attendees to PLAY Expo Manchester is the retro zone so this year we are going to make it even bigger! Last year we ran close to 400 machines across the retro zones – this year we’re going for 500 making it the biggest ever collection of retro machines at any European gaming expo! As well as more retro consoles and computers we’ll be bringing back the handhelds section and expanding the classic PC games zone that we introduced last year. Our retro zone is a time slice of the past 40 years of games which will be featuring a number of consoles and computers, each running a selection of the best games for each system. So whether you’re Sinclair, Commodore, Nintendo, Sega, Sony or even an Xbox fan, there will be something for everyone. And of course we’ll have a selection of games for each system too, so if you can’t choose Manic Miner over Decathlon or Gran Turismo over Metal Gear Solid, don’t worry as our event staff will be on hand to help you find your favourite game at PLAY Expo Manchester.

Cosplay

For the first time ever PLAY Expo Manchester will feature an entire Cosplay Village! The Cosplay area at PLAY Expo Manchester 2017 will be the biggest it has ever been, with a huge space dedicated to all things Cosplay. The Cosplay Village will have not one but two stages this year – one for panels, talks, masquerades and competitions and the other live performances. Poly-props will exhibiting with a large stand and will be giving away plenty of swag. The guys will be on hand to chat with you and give advice on materials and builds. Dracks Cosplay will be attending as part of his world tour and will be demonstrating a live build of his outstanding large props. A Cosplay Ballet group will be giving a performance on the floor stage. Numerous competitions will take place throughout the day, including the Cosplay Masquerade with cash prizes! Finally, there will be a dedicated cosplay retail area within the village where you can by props, materials, tools and other cosplay accessories.

VR

Virtual Reality is coming to PLAY Expo Manchester again, with a selection of games dedicated to warping your reality and tricking your mind. PSVR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will all be available to try at the event. We will have a number of PlayStation VR setups running a selection of games including Battlezone, Eagle Flight, VR Worlds, Drive Club VR, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Battlefront X-Wing Mission. Red Out will be available on the Oculus Rift or if you’re feeling creative you’ll be able to try Tilt Brush on the HTC Vive at the show. If you’ve never tried VR before don’t worry as our staff will be on hand to assist and guide you into your alternate reality.

Indie Game Celebration

Replay Events have always supported Indie developers at our expos and PLAY Expo Manchester will be no different, in fact there’s going to be more than ever in our biggest zone to date! The indie zone is a chance to try out some of the quirkier games before they are available to buy and then chat with the developers, give feedback on the game and maybe even make some suggestions that might find their way into the final release of the game. Our indie zone is always full with new and exciting games and we will have numerous development teams we on hand to chat with attendees and show off their games.

Pinball

Think yourself a Pinball Wizard? Fancy trying out your skills against some of the best pinball players in the UK? Want to get your pinball play streamed live across the world? Want to win a cash prize and a trophy? New to Play Expo Manchester this year is the Play Expo Pinball Battle, the biggest pinball showdown in the UK! Anyone can enter, and there are no pre-registration requirements. Just turn up, pay the £4 entry fee (£3 before 1pm on Saturday), and play three games of your choice from a selection of ten. Not happy with your scores? Then play again! There’s no limit to the number of entries you can purchase. You can enter at any time during show opening hours on Saturday, and on Sunday until 12 noon. There’s lots of chance for free practice too, as there will be at least another 100 pinball machines on free play at the show.

Minecraft

Our Minecraft Zone will be the biggest ever with FOUR massive setups for you to play. New for 2017 is our Minecraft themed photo-shoot area. Put yourself inside the game with our props and green screen technology and take home a unique souvenir of your weekend. Also new this year is our timed Parkour map – will you be the fastest to reach the end of the course? We will be running a Hunger Games map where players will fight it out to in effort to survive the harsh landscape of traps and other players. As well as this, we will also have a Minecraft world where players are encouraged to explore, build and survive the nights and the deepest caves. Finally, we will also run a creative map where attendees can just come along and build whatever strange, weird, wacky or beautiful world they choose. So if you want to try your luck at Hunger Games, fight it out for survival or if you just want to create and explore the huge world that is Minecraft then make sure you get your tickets today.

Arcade Games

Arcade video games conjure up nostalgic memories of childhood for so many people, be it fighting with your friend over who was going to be on the left-hand buttons on Mortal Kombat, or who got which gun while shooting zombies in House of the Dead. PLAY Expo Manchester will help you relive memories like these at with a selection of classic arcade machines for you to play on with every one set to free play. Finally, no pockets weighted down with ten pence pieces! Amongst the titles on show will be some of the must-have classics like Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders as well as the more modern favourites like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Daytona USA. We will have over 100 arcade machines at PLAY Expo again this year – will your favourite be one of them? Want more? How about sit-down deluxe hydraulic Outrun, Afterburner and Power Drift machines? We’ll have them too!

Rhythm Zone

Get your funk on with the best music, dance and rhythm-action based games from all over the world in the Rhythm Games area! From classics like Gamecube Donkey Konga and Playstation Parappa the Rapper, to hidden gems like Playstation 2 Taiko Drum Master and modern Xbox 360 favourites Rock Band and DJ Hero. The Rhythm Zone at PLAY Expo Manchester will get anybody dancing to the beat.

PC/Lan Gaming

You will be able to celebrate the glorious world of LAN gaming without having to worry about where everyone will fit their monitors! LAN parties are still happening across the world and PLAY Expo Manchester presents a range of titles that are sure to please fans. With games such as Quake, Doom, Counter Strike, Command and Conquer, Star Wars Jedi Knight 2 and more all available to play on our LAN set up.

Tournaments

Long-time supporters Manchester Battle Arena will once again be running our stage tournaments with a knockout roster of fighting game tournaments throughout the weekend. Schedule will be as follows:

  • Saturday: Street Fighter V, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, Killer Instinct
  • Sunday: Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Revelator 2, King of Fighters XIV

£5 entry to each tournament with a share of the £500 prize pot to be won. Signups close at 12:00 each day and tournaments will begin at 12:30.

Education

The Educational Zone is bringing the best of gaming and education together, offering unique opportunities, experiences and insights into both worlds. You can meet with educational providers to hear about the latest video games design courses, maybe join one of our classes on programming, electronics and other exciting subjects or if you’re a games graduate chat with recruiters about finding that perfect job in the games industry.

Shopping Hall

The shopping hall – whether it’s classic games, consoles, gaming merchandise, retro toys, or even custom made artwork you seek, our retailers will have all of this and more! With hundreds of retailers under one roof selling every conceivable type of gaming merchandise you’ll want to save your pennies for PLAY Expo Manchester!

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