SXSW Sydney Games Festival 2023: Everything you need to know

SXSW Sydney Games Festival 2023 will feature a major indie games showcase, a conference track, an esports tournament, a tabletop celebration, and more.
sxsw sydney games festival 2023

The team behind SXSW Sydney 2023 has announced fresh details about what attendees can expect from the inaugural SXSW Sydney Games Festival, set to take place from 15-22 October 2023 in and around the CBD of Sydney, Australia.

This year’s event will play host to a major indie game showcase, industry panels and presentations, a social hub for networking, and a student showcase for emerging works, running alongside the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) esports tournament, one of the longest-running professional esports events in the world, returning to Sydney after a brief hiatus.

Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023

IEM Sydney will run from 16-22 October 2023, and will be held in the Aware Super Theatre in the ICC Sydney. It will feature 16 top-tier Counter-Strike teams competing for a US $250,000 prize pool as the competition heads towards the Intel Grand Slam. Anyone who purchases a Sydney Platinum or Games badge for SXSW Sydney will be able to watch the show, with the price of entry included.

Individual tickets will go on sale from 22 June 2023.

Read: SXSW Sydney 2023 announces first speakers, events, badge details

SXSW Sydney Games Festival 2023: Events

Here’s a quick rundown of what else to expect from the SXSW Sydney Games Festival:

  • Indie Games Showcase: A curated showcase of 150 independent games from ANZ and beyond.
  • Games Industry Conference Track: A variety of panels from industry speakers addressing current trends, and visions for the future.
  • Tabletop Festival: A showcase for tabletop games, including a freeplay area.
  • XR Showcase: Hands-on demos for virtual and augmented reality games.
  • Games Festival Stage: A stage hosting performances, presentations, and live gameplay.
  • Investment Summit: Meetings and pitch sessions for industry professionals.
  • Social Hub: A venue for mixers and networking events.
  • ‘Midnighters’ Games Edition: A one-night event celebrating horror games.
  • Student Showcase: A showcase of experimental and creative student games from Australia.

So far, a number of games have been confirmed to appear during the SXSW Sydney Games Festival for 2023, including: Birth (Madison Karrh), Gubbins (Studio Folly), The Master’s Pupil (Pat Naoum), Knuckle Sandwich (Andy Brophy), Surf Club (Olivia Haines), Repella Fella (Phill), The Chef’s Shift (Panitia GameDev), Wood & Weather (Paper House), The Godfeather (Hojo Studio), Fractured Core (Engram Interactive).

Applications to appear as part of this showcase remain open for those with projects to share.

Badges to attend SXSW Sydney 2023 are now available, with a range of pricing tiers for those keen to attend specific tracks. Badges for the gaming segment of the festival begin at AU $1,095.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.