As March approaches and we head into the craziness of SXSW month in Austin, it may be worth pausing to take stock of what we already know of the fest, including some big changes happening with the SXSW Gaming Expo. As previously reported, the Expo is changing venue and timeframe, making media, game developers and game fans reason to wonder if the changes will help or hurt Gaming, which had been growing year-to-year since it moved to the Palmer Events Center in 2012.
In this week’s Digital Savant column, in Tuesday’s print edition and on MyStatesman.com, I go over those changes and speak to the fest about whether these changes might hurt the free, public event.
Here’s an excerpt from the column:
But this year, SXSW Gaming is moving back to the Austin Convention Center on March 17-19, during SXSW Music. Previously, Gaming has coincided with SXSW Interactive, which this year is March 11-15.
To make matters more difficult for those in the video-games business, SXSW Gaming overlaps with a key industry event, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, which runs March 14-18.
Should fans of SXSW Gaming be worried? For families who’ve made an annual tradition of SXSW, the institutional convention center may seem less inviting than Palmer with its large parking garage and friendly outdoor spaces. And several games journalists and developers I’ve spoken to have said they simply can’t attend both events and will be choosing GDC this year.
You can read the rest of the column here and let me know if you’ll be attending SXSW Gaming or if this year’s changes will make it more difficult for you to be there.