Here at Publisher Collective, we consider ourselves to be dedicated gamers, whether that’s indulging in some tabletop campaigns or enjoying our favourite gaming franchises via the latest tech. We were excited to be invited to the second W.A.S.D. event in London last week, to take in the latest and greatest that game developers had to offer.
We began our morning checking out the different booths set up around the convention hall. Some of this year’s exhibitors included Playstation, Devolver, Bandai Namco, and Curve Games to name a few. There was also a plethora of indie developers scattered around the hall. Nearly all of the games had a steady line of interested players waiting to give their demos a try by mid-afternoon, and we enjoyed having a go at some of the big titles set to release this coming year.
The environment at W.A.S.D. was one of inclusion and community. Event-goers were invited to come as they are, and the buzz surrounding the convention was amplified by the influencers and cosplayers wandering among the booths. The games on display were quirky and varied. We played as an octopus in VR, a swashbuckling goblin in a role-reversal RPG, and some battling bread goods in a bakery coliseum. The heavy-hitting games were there as well; Street Fighter 6 and Dead Island 2 had a long line of gamers waiting for a go from open to close.
Since we attended on the first day of the three day event, we also got to peek in on the London Developer Conference. Pitched as a networking and industry event, the LDC featured talks from game developers across the industry. The speakers touched on topics like burnout, the introduction of AI into the developer workspace, employee recruitment, and fostering a positive work environment. There was something for everyone, whether they were seasoned developers or just starting out.
Another aspect of W.A.S.D. that we particularly enjoyed was the dedicated tabletop gaming room sponsored by Wargamer, where event-goers could take a break from the main hall. There was an area set up for painting minifigures and rows of tables equipped with game boards set up for play. It was a quieter corner of the convention that drew more of a crowd as the day went on.
W.A.S.D. remains one of our favourite gaming conventions simply for how much they offer both the hardcore and casual gamer. With added events this year for developers, it’s a valuable convention for anyone who enjoys creating or playing games. It’s clear that the gaming industry is keen for more developers to join their ranks, and W.A.S.D. had several booths offering information and opportunities on careers and educational courses surrounding game development.
We love attending gamer-friendly events and will often post coverage on our blog here. You can also stay updated by following us on our social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram for live coverage while we’re in attendance.