Where can you find stormtroopers, anime-style ninjas, giggling teenagers and adults looking for their inner child all under grandiose turn-of-the century architecture? Last weekend, Chile’s Festigame offered all that and more — if you managed to get your hands on a ticket.
More than 40,000 people packed into downtown Santiago’s Estación Mapocho for Festigame, making it the largest video game event in the region. The hands-on fair has gained such a reputation in the Chilean capital that tickets for all four days sold out before the festival started.
That’s probably due in large part because nearly every game on display was playable for free. Flat-screen televisions lined the walls of the old train station’s sprawling interior. Outside, in a covered patio, huge projection screens hosted tournaments for two popular soccer games — Electronic Arts’ (EA) FIFA 13 and Konami’s PES 2013 — while children played young architect in a LEGO area alongside dozens bobbing in unison to Dance Central 3.
Festigame was also South America’s first look at a number of new releases in the video game world, from the console version of the popular Diablo III title to the newest Need For Speed racing chapter. Possibly the longest line of the event, though, gave those willing to wait the chance to get their hands on the Playstation 4, Sony’s newest gaming console set to launch this November.
Though a Cosplay costume contest and actors from the hit television series Big Bang Theory graced the event’s main stage, the presentation from EA probably stole the show for most. The game publishing giant gave a playable preview of the next version of one of the world’s most popular video games — FIFA 14 — and showed Festigame that it came with a few Chilean twists.
In addition to the Chilean soccer star Arturo Vidal gracing the game’s cover alongside Argentine Lionel Messi, for the first time the game will also feature the entire top flight of Chilean professional soccer — bringing giants like Colo Colo and Universidad de Chile along with the league’s smaller teams like Ñublense and Cobresal.
Keep an eye out for next year’s Festigame to grab tickets early and join in the fun.