With successful PLAY Expo Leeds and PLAY Expo Glasgow shows already behind us our focus now moves onto PLAY Expo Blackpool, our longest running event.
There’s so much going on at this year’s PLAY Expo Blackpool we don’t quite know how we’re going to fit it all in!
Press pass applications are still open until 9th July. If you do not yet have a press pass you may apply online at www.playexpoblackpool.com/press-access
We’re grateful for any up front coverage you can give the event this year. All coverage is appreciated and your support helps spread the word about our shows and allows us to continue to deliver great events.
We have briefly summarised everything below for your convenience, we have some great guests this year – our headline panel with System 3 Software is something we’re particularly excited about and I hope you can come down to take part and interview the team afterwards.
- Show date – 15-16 July 2017
- Location – Norcalympia Exhibition Centre, Blackpool
System 3 Software Panel
The legendary publisher System 3 will be taking part in a panel at PLAY Expo Blackpool this July. System 3 founder Mark Cale will be joining the show with several other System 3 developers to talk about their time in the industry. With hits such as The Last Ninja, Myth, International Karate, Putty, Constructor and Ferrari Challenge, System 3 is recognised as one of the founding pioneers of the gaming industry. Mark and the team will take part in a Q&A session after the talk.
Big Boy Barry – Games World
From TV’s “Games World” Replay Events are pleased to confirm that Videator Big Boy Barry will be at PLAY Blackpool all weekend. Alex Verrey (Big Boy Barry) was the star of 1990s TV show Games World. Taking part in a Q&A session about his time in the games industry, Alex will also be hosting some tournaments and be taking part in a number of stage activities over the weekend.
Ocean Software Director Gary Bracey
Former Ocean Software Director Gary Bracey will be joining PLAY Expo Blackpool on Saturday. Gary will be chatting about his time at Ocean Software, throwing in some licencing anecdotes and will no doubt be name dropping some of the very interesting people he had the good fortune to meet and work with. He will also be talking about some of the more recent projects he has worked on and will open up a Q&A session afterwards.
Jim Bagley – ZX Spectrum Next talk and demo
Industry legend and all round good egg Jim Bagley is joining PLAY Expo Blackpool again this year to talk about the ZX Spectrum Next project he has been working on. Jim will be bringing along a next console to demo at the event. Fingers and toes crossed he will have a FINAL build board to show to you all. After the talk Jim will take part in a Q&A about his involvement with the Spectrum Next project.
Jon Stoodley Charity World Record Attempt
Pacman World Record holder Jon Stoodley will be attending PLAY Expo Blackpool and will be attempting to set a new Pacman World Record on the 20th Anniversary Pacman arcade machine which allows you to continue through the famous split-screen board of level 256. Jon will be playing over the whole weekend at PLAY Expo Blackpool to raise money for a local charity Blackpool Carers Centre. With your help, he can raise money and awareness for this special cause.
There are a number of independent games producers attending PLAY Expo Blackpool and showing their games. Studios and games confirmed so far are 1st Impact Games – All Contact Lost, Asobi.Tech – MaoMao Castle, Huey Games – Hyper Sentinel, JForth Designs – Medieval Steve, Moon Storm Studios – Shadow of the Beast, Sinister Soft – Sinister Soccer and Sound Cakes – Space Toads Mayhem. Our indie games zone will also contain some of the most popular four player indie games such as Rocket League, Gang Beasts and Overcooked as well as some of the classic indie games which kick-started the indie revolution – Braid, Fez, Trine, Super Meat Boy and others.
Sit-Down Outrun and After Burner Confirmed!
Blackpool is the daddy of all seaside arcades and the show has always paid special tribute to these classic machines. Replay Events are incredibly excited to have not one but two large hydraulic sit down cabinets from Sega in addition to eighty other original arcade cabinets at the show this year. Come and see if you still have what it takes to beat Outrun or Afterburner at PLAY Expo Blackpool!
Pinball is always very popular at gaming shows – partially because it’s a medium that is difficult to emulate, but also because they’re super cool! So for PLAY Expo Blackpool they will have a selection of original pinball machines for you to try. Time to get those bumper fingers warmed up!
Anyone who has been to a PLAY Expo before will know that the organisers specialise in retro and this year they intend to bring the best retro display PLAY Expo Blackpool has ever seen – a new floorplan means the show will have 20% more retro this year and over 150 consoles and computers! The retro zone is a timeslice of the past 40 years of games and will feature consoles, computers and handhelds celebrating some of the greatest franchises like Mario, Sonic, Street Fighter and Tomb Raider as well as some of the more unusual and rare games. They will also have clusters of four player, single-screen games like Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros and Bomberman for classic multiplayer madness.
The next-gen gaming zone will have a selection of the latest AAA games from the PS4 and Xbox One such as Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Halo Wars 2, Injustice 2, Tekken 7, WipEout Omega Collection and Yooka Laylee. For PC fans the show have a smattering of high spec PCs running the latest and greatest of independently produced games such as Rime and Snake Pass as well as some quirkier leftfield titles you may not have heard of before.
Whether you’re competing, supporting a team mate or just a casual observer, the tournaments at PLAY Expo are a must for many people. With tournaments running in your favourite retro games such as Super Smash Bros and Super Mario Kart along with the best of the new releases including Tekken 7 and Injustice 2 there will be something for everyone!
Virtual Reality is coming to PLAY Expo Blackpool this year, with a selection of games dedicated to warping your reality and tricking your mind. PSVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Microsoft Hololens will all be available to try at the event.
At Escape Room Centre they run real life 4D Escape Games where players have to escape within 60 minutes by finding clues, solving puzzles and cracking codes. The team will be at PLAY Expo Blackpool and will be bringing along some small interactive puzzles to show how their games work. Solve these puzzles for a chance to win a free session at the centre in Blackpool!
Fans of Cosplay will be pleased to hear that Replay Events will be hosting a number of events on our main stage at PLAY Expo Blackpool including a Cosplay Masquerade ran on both days, with prizes for the best characters as chosen by the panel of judges! Lady Valentine and David Roth Exeter Cosplay are the two guest judges for the weekend. Furthermore a professional Cosplay photo shoot will take place for everyone to get great photos of their costumes to take home with them.
At PLAY Expo Blackpool you will be able to find stalls selling classic games, modern games, gaming merchandise, retro toys or even custom made artwork. The retailers will have all of this and more in an entire hall dedicated to retail.
We can confirm that the super popular Minecraft area is returning to PLAY Expo Blackpool. The LAN team will be running a Hunger Games map, a Survival map and a Creative map throughout the weekend. So if you want to try your luck at Hunger Games, fight it out in Survival or if you want to relax and show how creative you are there is something for everyone.
Esdevium Games will be attending and demonstrating a selection of tabletop games at PLAY Expo Blackpool this year including Dobble, Cortex, Story Cubes, Codenames, Century – Spice Road, Yamatai, King of Tokyo, X-Wing, Dice Forge, The Captain is Dead, Ticket to Ride: Europe and Pandemic Iberia.
Trading Card Game Tournaments
Manchester based tabletop specialists Fan Boy Three, the UK’s number one organised play store will be attending PLAY Expo Blackpool this July and will be running a number of TCG tournaments for you. They will be running tournaments on Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh.
Blackpool & Fylde College
Blackpool and Fylde College (B&FC) are returning to PLAY Expo for a fourth straight year. The Computing team will be there to talk to expo-goers about potential career paths, routes into education and the equipment available at the college. The courses the college offer are as followed: Software Engineering & Games Development, Software Engineering & App Development, Interactive Media Development, Network Engineering & Systems Administration//Network Engineering & Cyber Security. B&FC hope that while you are with us, you are sure to check out some of their student’s work from the various courses.
Replay Events are happy to announce that games such as Quake, Command & Conquer and Counter Strike are just a few titles that will be on offer in our LAN area. Our LAN gaming area is kitted out with the very latest gaming keyboards and mice courtesy of sponsors Logitech.
Get your groove on with the best music and rhythm-action based games from all over the world in the Replay Rhythm area at PLAY Expo Blackpool. From classics like Donkey Konga, Parappa the Rapper to hidden gems like Taiko Drum Master and DJ Hero and a big modern setup with Rock Band 4 on the PS4 courtesy of sponsors Harmonix.
We all have a favourite game that we’ve played over and over and now, thanks to Green Screen Technology, you have the chance to be featured in those games! You will be able to be photographed standing on the Green Hills of Sonic, striking a fearsome pose in Street Fighter, heading down the tubes in Mario and many other options never possible before! There will also be an opportunity to get photos with show guests and various gaming characters including Pikachu.