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G-STAR 2017 features e-sports enjoyed by live broadcast  

G-STAR 2017 features e-sports enjoyed by live broadcast  

Posted November. 17, 2017 07:42,   

Updated November. 17, 2017 09:20


At the showcase area of “Battlegrounds,” a PC online shooting game, in the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO) on Thursday, Park Hee-eun, a 20-year-old famous Internet streamer, explained how to win in this game, and about 200 people crowded around her. This scene streamed live online on the game show platform, allowing people who could not go to the exhibition to watch the showcase.

“Games to watch” has become the new topic of the game industry. While G-STAR 2016 exhibited many showcases of games based on Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR), G-STAR 2017 has mainly focused on e-sports enjoyed by live broadcast and so on.

Korea's biggest games trade show G-STAR is hosted by the Korea Association of Game Industry and will be held from Thursday to Sunday at BEXCO. At G-STAR, game companies reveal new games, and those who work at the game industry gather up and show the current situation of the industry as it is. This is the 13th year of G-STAR, with 676 companies from 35 countries participating. G-STAR 2017 has 2,857 booths, which is a 5.1 percent increase over last year’s 2,719 booths. This is interpreted as the result of reflecting the game industry, which is recently renewing the sales records every quarter and growing rapidly.

At this year’s G-STAR, the spaces for playing the games in person are prepared by game companies and computer part companies and spectators can watch games at the booths installed with large screens. It is because e-sports and individual streaming have been capturing the eyes as the marketing methods for games. In case of “Battlegrounds,” a game that has become viral through online streaming and become popular worldwide, it has prepared a booth where 80 players can participate at the same time, and will broadcast gameplay at the very place.

The exhibition had many spectators who came not only to enjoy the new games earlier than anyone else, but also to watch the gameplays. Korea's online game company Nexon has prepared 300 booths for showcase areas, and invited a famous online streamer from Afreeca TV to broadcast it online.

Given that the G-STAR exhibition attracts 200,000 spectators every year, this year's event has been eval‎uated as fair so far. “More than 5,000 people came on the opening day, showing the fever for Korean games,” said a staff at Nexon. However, due to the postponement of College Scholastic Ability Test as the aftermath of the earthquake in Pohang, it is not easy for test-takers to visit the exhibition during this coming weekend. For this reason, it seems to be difficult for G-STAR 2017’s number of spectators to exceed last year’s 219,000.

Hyun-Seok Lim lhs@donga.com