NetEase is the online games division of NetEase, Inc. They’re behind well-loved, crowd favourite games such as Knives Out, Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, and Naraka: Bladepoint. They’ve also been in partnership for game development with major entertainment brands such as Warner Bros and Mojang AB (a Microsoft subsidiary). NetEase Games also supports the growth and development of its innovative global studios in Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States.
PAX Aus 2023 is the biggest gaming event in the country, spanning three full days to celebrate gaming, gaming culture, and its lively community. The massive expo hall was filled with the best gaming publishers and independent studios—allowing game lovers to play their favourite games and get first access to new ones. The gamer community was happy to participate in game demos, musical performances, and tournaments during the event.
PAX Aus took place at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 6-8, 2023 as part of Melbourne International Games Week (MIGW), Asia Pacific’s largest digital games celebration featuring conferences, events, and activities for the games industry, educators, games enthusiasts, and the general public.
NetEase wanted to build a spacious stand where they could place two pillars for the two games they were launching—Eve Echoes and Racing Master. Eve Echoes is an existing computer game that NetEase was releasing as a mobile game, while Racing Master is a mobile game that’s not out of the oven yet but is set to release for an official worldwide launch soon.
With these two game launches in mind, they wanted an interactive stand where attendees could try out the two games via simulators and different gadgets. The goal was to have strategically placed booths for each game that would let them engage with their audience and get real-time feedback and early signups.
Seems like a pretty manageable task for Expo Centric but then there came the deadline, which was in just two weeks! Now onto the build…
Taking note of these requirements, Expo Centric collaborated with NetEase members from different parts of the world in designing the stand. They wanted to have a clear visual distinction between the two games to guide the eyes of the people as they navigate the stand; so Expo Centric placed the Eve Echoes’ side on black flooring and the Racing Master side on a white one.
Within the stand, the team also put up a stall to house each of the game corners, allowing the attendees to play and enjoy the games. The stalls showed a continuous graphic on the back and side walls, in addition to coloured LED strip lights to highlight the game and draw more eyeballs to the overall stand. Each stand also showcased an LED display at the back of the stand to add to the visual appeal, while flashing videos about the game development process.
Racing Master has been a long-awaited game in the gaming community, and Expo Centric helped elevate that hype even more by creating a warehouse mechanic feel to its stand. Gamers lined up for their turn to play, fully imbibing driver mode to get their highly customizable game cars whooshing to the finish line. The players also got their hands on the latest beta version of the game on mobile and PC simulators.
Meanwhile, the Eve Echoes stall had people raving and lining up as the game can now be played on mobile devices—phone, tablet, PC, you name it! There was a long table that had iPads, Android phones, and PCs so gamers knew for sure that they could have their favourite game available in their comfort. Testing out the game on each of the devices on display also made for an entertaining and interactive experience.
A good competition always keeps the experience exciting. NetEase had a wide screen installed in the middle of the huge main wall to flash the leaderboard. Happening every two hours was the team battle, and attendees had a friendly competition with each other as they tried to claim the top spot and some additional merchandise.
NetEase’s attendance at PAX was a success. Their stand effectively showcased their incredible games to the gaming public and had gamers of all ages lining up for their turn to play. They also successfully engaged their audience and got a good amount of helpful feedback to prepare them for their official worldwide launch.
It was a fulfilling sight to see that every person visiting the stand was enthusiastically participating, with some coming back several times to further enjoy the games and boost their scores for the leaderboard. NetEase has kept the hype up for their games through their remarkable presence at PAX 2023, and it’s exciting to see how much more they can achieve with Expo Centric as their exhibit stand collaborator.