The annual IndieCade Festival brings together independent games and developers from around the world to celebrate the growing indie space. The event allows developers to showcase their titles and network with peers, and the event organizers host an awards ceremony to honor the industry's standout indie games and studios. Next year, the conference ill expand to include IndieCade East, which will take place February 16-17, 2013 in New York City.
Penny Arcade Expo
The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), held in Seattle and Boston, and debuting in Australia in 2013, builds its reputation on celebrating video games and the culture that surrounds them. PAX's fan-oriented focus makes it the most accessible of all the shows we've mentioned. The show features a range of tournaments and other social events for attendees, as well as a number of panels from industry professionals. The show's expo floor offers a collection of upcoming titles as well as a showcase of top indie games known as the PAX 10. The Seattle-based PAX Prime event typically takes place between August and September, and the next PAX East takes place in Boston in early 2013. A neat part of the PAX lineup is a smaller, developer-focused event called PAX Dev, which runs right before PAX Prime in Seattle. For those of you overseas, the brand-new PAX Australia will take place next July.
Events like GDC Europe are a great chance to attend informative sessions and learn more about the industry.
The D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit is more about the business end of the industry, bringing the higher-level executives together as they discuss developing trends and opportunities within the game industry. The show is organized by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and hosts the annual Indie Game Challenge as well as the Interactive Achievement Awards. The next D.I.C.E. Summit will take place in February 2013 in Las Vegas.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), organized by the ESA, is one of the largest and most extravagant U.S. game events in the industry. The show brings together publishers and hardware manufacturers as they reveal their upcoming projects and build excitement for the ever-important fourth quarter. While the show is only open to professionals, E3 drew in more than 45,700 attendees in 2012. E3 usually falls in early June and is held in downtown Los Angeles.
Tokyo Game Show
The Tokyo Game Show (TGS) is Japan's largest video-game trade show, where the region's biggest publishers exhibit their upcoming titles to journalists, fans, and the industry. The show features a number of workshops and conferences for developers and serves as a venue for the Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association's (CESA) Japan Game Awards. TGS's Sense of Wonder Night allows developers to showcase their new or experimental projects and ideas. The first two days of TGS are industry-only, though the final two days are open to the public. The event is co-organized by CESA and Nikkei Business Publications, Inc., and the 2013 show is September 19-22 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, Japan.
Rezzed is a relatively new, U.K.-based PC and indie games showcase event hosted in Brighton by game publications Eurogamer and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Rezzed is more of a player-focused show, and its biggest draws are its preview builds of PC games, but its indie showcase could offer local devs exposure. Rezzed typically takes place in early July.