The team behind SXSW Sydney 2023 have officially pulled back the curtain, revealing the full array of events, panels, screenings, and showcases for its inaugural week-long celebration of media, technology, entertainment, and innovation.
Between major film screenings and talks about hot-button topics like AI and Web3, this year’s show will feature a hefty spotlight on video games, with a range of celebratory events, live shows, and networking opportunities for industry professionals.
Here’s a rundown of the biggest video game events taking place at SXSW Sydney 2023, as picked by Luke Lancaster, Head of SXSW Sydney Gaming Programming:
- The Games Festival Opening Night Party (17 October at 7:00 pm AEDT) – A celebration to kick-off the games portion of SXSW, featuring musical performances of songs from Australian-made games, a debut song from “one of Australia’s best new artists” and some international guests.
- The Encore Games Showcase – Throughout SXSW, games shortlisted in the SXSW Sydney Games Awards will be playable by attendees of the show.
- Blood on the Clocktower Live (19 October at 1:00 pm AEDT) – This live show turns the Blood on the Clocktower tabletop game into an interactive social deduction and comedy experience for an entire audience.
- Investment Meet – Throughout the week, various networking opportunities will be available for publishers and developers, and they’ll likely be worth checking out for those in the industry. Some of the events included are: The Games Research and Industry Meet-up (20 October at 1:00 pm AEDT), the Games Industry Breakfast WIP (19 October at 9:00 am AEDT), and the Games and Screen Industry Happy Hour (18 October at 4:00 pm AEDT).
- Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) – IEM Sydney returns as part of SXSW Sydney 2023, with the show taking place across 20-22 October. It’ll culminate in a grand final on the final day of SXSW Sydney.
In addition to these highlights, those attending SXSW will also be able to listen in to intriguing panels – like one about death and dying in video games, another about making weird games, one about video game archiving, and another one about video games as art. Local Australian game developers will also team up to talk about games and audio, Riot Games is hosting a panel on the challenges of making League of Legends, and Pentiment art director Hannah Kennedy will also host a talk on the art direction of the beloved historical mystery game.
Throughout the show, audiences will also be able to play through upcoming games on the showfloor, like Bilkin’s Folly and A Tiny Sticker Tale, and even dive into an imported version of the BitSummit Showcase, which highlights the world of international indie developers (18 October between 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm AEDT).
Mid-week, Amy and Mike Morhaime, co-founders of Dreamhaven and pioneers at Blizzard Entertainment, are hosting a major keynote that should be worth checking out. It takes place on 20 October 2023 at 1:00 pm AEDT.
Immortality director Sam Barlow is also hosting a full playthrough of his award-winning game with live commentary – and that should be well worth checking out. It kicks off at 3:00 pm AEDT on 18 October 2023. Barlow will speak again at 2:00 pm AEDT on 19 October 2023, about pioneering new forms of video game storytelling.
Towards the end of the week, SXSW Sydney attendees can also look forward to the inaugural Games Festival Awards (7:00 pm AEDT on 20 October 2023) which will celebrate the best of the Australian and international games of the show.
SXSW Sydney 2023 takes place from 15-22 October 2023 at the ICC, and at locations around Haymarket, Darling Harbour, Ultimo, and Chippendale in Sydney, Australia.
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