4 Trends Emerging From SXSW Gaming Expo

While musical acts, compelling keynote speakers and cutting-edge films garner most of the attention at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, each year, the Gaming Expo is by far one of the most passionate and engaging parts of the 10-day event. It could be called the epicenter of the gaming culture and brings together a diverse group of people and emerging technologies.

SXSW Gaming Expo

This year’s SXSW Gaming Expo is free and open to the public from noon to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday (March 13-15). It will be held at the Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Rd., downtown Austin) and attendees can get free guest pass wristbands in advance.

In addition to attending the various exhibits within the Gaming Expo, there’s plenty of other things to do throughout the week. If you’ll be in Austin, check out the the lineup of must-see performers. And thanks to SXSW’s various media partners and online channels, you can stream various events from the comfort of your own home

Emerging Trends

As we anxiously await the 2015 Gaming Expo, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that a number of trends are emerging. These include:

  • Sustainable business models. While everyone wants to create a hit game that appeals to the masses, most game developers don’t understand how to create a lasting business model that keeps players coming back in the future. However, King Digital Entertainment (the name behind Candy Crush Saga) is attempting to change this aspect of the industry. They believe that long-lasting game franchises are not only possible but realistic.
  • Focus on educational gaming. While many of today’s games are poorly designed and lack meaningful learning outcomes, industry experts like Chelsea Biggerstaff, Drew Scheberle and Scott Lipton are seeking to change things by encouraging people to create educational games for students. While there will be an educational game contest at the Gaming Expo, the hope is that people will leave inspired to create.
  • More social value. Much like the push for educational gaming, people like INK Stories’ Navid Khonsari are trying to encourage more social value within the gaming industry. While his presentation at the Gaming Expo will highlight what’s currently being done, he’s been at work for some time creating video game and documentary hybrids, hoping to create a successful commercial game with lasting value. Will 2015 be the year that a revolution in gaming begins?
  • Minecraft’s growing influence. Even after founder Markus Persson sold the popular Minecraft franchise for $2.5 billion a few months ago, the game’s popularity has not waned. In fact, it’s arguably more popular than ever and has revolutionized an entire industry and given rise to a new culture. Lydia Winters, Mojang’s Director of Fun and Gatekeeper, will deliver a presentation on “Minecrafting the World,” which will shed some light on the influential power of the game in the coming months and years.

Don’t Miss Out

Whether you’re streaming some of the festival from home or attending the Gaming Expo in person, you don’t want to miss out on all the incredible things this year’s SXSW Festival has to offer. Plan to be a part of the action and look out for these emerging trends.

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