Since 2012, Five Star Games Pty Ltd stands as a distinguished and award-winning distributor in the interactive entertainment sector, serving the Australian and New Zealand markets. As a comprehensive solution provider, Five Star Games has forged exclusive distribution alliances with prominent global video game publishers and peripheral manufacturers, solidifying its position in the industry.
PAX Aus 2023 is a vibrant gaming culture celebration. It includes insightful panels, a large expo hall featuring top publishers and independent gaming developers, game demos, live music, tournaments, and a unique community experience. For three days in a single location, PAX allows attendees to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, engage with game developers, publishers, brands, and all things gaming. This pop culture convention first started in 2013 at Melbourne, Australia.
Five Star Games brought their client, Sega UK, to showcase its new 2D Sonic game called Sonic Superstars. They wanted an interactive booth for PAX 2023 that would fit 32 screens and multiple game consoles to showcase Sonic Superstars.
Five Star Games dedicated the majority of their booth space for the branding of “Sonic”, an iconic pop culture character which also expanded its broad reach to animated TV and film. They also wanted a life-sized Lego replica of Sonic, assembled at the facade of the stand as a branding magnet for enthusiastic fans.
Lastly, they also wanted 2 smaller game rooms to showcase other games they will be distributing to the market.
At the top of the stand was a rigged banner that bore the Sonic brand, while flooring used for the stand was artificial grass made of astro turf. The use of artificial grass was essential in recreating the landscape of the Sonic video game, which is a colourful and vibrant world filled with grass landscape, loops, springs, and other obstacles that Sonic must overcome.
The stand had three spacious sections. On the front part was a display area made out of print fabric, and behind it was a storage and changing room assembled with pvc panels. The outside layer of the said storage room was made of print pvc containing printed Sonic graphics and mounted screens.
At the heart of the stand was the Sonic gaming station, assembled at the centre with printed PVC panels of the Sonic brand. Multiple screens were mounted on those panels for gaming. The storage cabinet for the gaming consoles were made of white laminated panels. Completing the Sonic gaming section was a lockable storage unit, assembled at the centre area.
At the back section of the stand were two smaller gaming rooms. Separating the two gaming rooms was another lockable storage unit. These two rooms were assembled with black carpet tiles and more brand-printed PVC. Mounted on the said PVC were more screens for gaming. Each room also had console stands for the gaming units also assembled with white laminated panels.
All of the printed PVC contained designs of the Sonic character brand.
Five Star Games required ventilation to cool down all of the video game consoles, due to the fact that these machines needed to operate non-stop for three days. It was during the set up when the client foresaw that the air conditioning in the MCEC was not enough to cool down their gear, thus the add-on request was raised to Expo Centric. These ventilation units were set up five hours before the opening.
The Expo Centric team improvised by cutting ventilation holes on the sides of the storage cabinets where the consoles were. The team purchased desk fans which were placed inside those cabinets to directly ventilate the game consoles. Since everything was stored inside the cabinet, no visible clutter was seen and the gaming station looked neat.
Another challenge was the compatibility between game consoles and the TV screens. Due to technological advancements of video games, 20 out of 32 screens were not compatible with the new Sonic video game. This was confirmed 2 ½ hours before the gates opened, while the client was powering on all their gaming gear for the first time. After diagnostics and troubleshooting the team was able to solve the problem by using a step-down method of converting the screen output from hdmi 2.0 to 1.4.
From then on everything ran smoothly, and visitors were able to enjoy the unreleased Sonic game, taking turns with fellow Sonic fans who were flocking the stand. Expo Centric also took note of the essentials learned in solving constraints with regard to clients’ machinery. Compatibility issues between hardware, and proper ventilation are key takeaways that Expo Centric discovered during this entire endeavour.
At the facade of the stand was a life-sized replica of Sonic, made of Legos. The intricately assembled plastic building-block was built and delivered by renowned Australian Lego designer and Lego certified professional, Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught.
The entire stand also had 32 screens, enhancing the gaming experience for visitors who wanted to try out the new Sonic game. All screens were strategically placed to showcase the game’s vibrant and colourful backdrop. Visitors could easily play and enjoy the game’s fast-paced action and stunning visuals. The strategic design of the stand which was tailor made for an exciting gaming experience easily attracted visitors to test the new product. To ensure that all visitors had an opportunity to play, Five Star limited the duration of each turn to 15 minutes.
Five Star Games and their client Sega UK were very pleased with the result of their promotion campaign. The success of the stand was seen through the hundreds of attendees that engage with the stand to try out the unreleased Sonic game, which in turn should equate to revenue in store once the game is released.
A conversation between Expo Centric and Five Star Games also sparked during the recent PAX expo with regards to the possibility of partnering once more for PAX 2024. The client was pleased with the branding design, the thrilling customer experience, and the improvised solutions that Expo Centric mustered in order to solve the client’s unforeseen constraints. The stand exceeded expectations and did its job well.