If I think about the first edition of Madrid Games Week that I went to, good memories come to me. It was my first event accredited as a press, I met with the compañeros of Mundogamers (with enough, although we always needed the damn Rafa) and I met other compis of the videogame press. I lived that fair with great enthusiasm, and that almost did not play anything. Now, however, it seems that Madrid Games Week has changed its focus and it does not seem the same to me now. In Spain, more and more people are betting on the world of videogames and esports, and yet we keep falling behind in too many aspects. Yes, I liked going to the Madrid Games Week 2018 , but it’s not like it was before .
Do not get me wrong. The deployment of IFEMA and AEVI has not been bad. The fair has occupied pavilions 12, 14 and 14.1, filling the venue with more than 40 thousand square meters of exhibition with video games, electronic sports, anime, robotics and even Japanese food. A varied catalog that was also as far as the list of video games is concerned: Kingdom Hearts 3 , with its endless line; Resident Evil 2 , Smash Bros. Ultimate or Soul Calibur VI are some of the protagonists of the weekend, although the truth is that FIFA 19 has also taken more than one fan waiting tail.
After the day for the press (with an asterisk as a correction, because on Thursday it was not just a day for the press as it used to be), it played the day of opening to the public. On Friday there were people, yes, but luckily it was not a great madness of bustle, chaos and destruction. Attendance was normal at an event, although perhaps, with a much larger pavilion now, there seemed to be fewer people. What was clear was that it was the ideal day to test games, as there was virtually no tail in the games.
All that feeling that “things are going well” disappeared on Saturday, when everything became a war to see if someone could play Kingdom Hearts 3 or die trying. Two hours of queue to try the great novelty of Square Enix and Disney, the game of the moment – and that there were many other highly anticipated releases – that will come out in a few months but, uh, we do not know how to wait. I mean, yes, we know how to wait for a line of two or three hours, but we do not know how to wait a few months in the comfort of our house.
This had an easy solution: to have dedicated a greater number of consoles or wider spaces to the game. It would also have been nice to place sofas or puffs so that people would not die in line, but that was a lot to ask for. On Saturday it was impossible for many to prove anything . And you will say: well, you have a press pass, it does not matter to you. Well, no! The misinformation of many stand managers led journalists to stand in line like commoners (I tell you with love, it’s a joke), so many complained about not being able to do their job well. Because even if you do not believe it, for many of us this is a job and we no longer look forward to going to events like when we started in the world.
On Sunday we returned to normal, although the attendance was, in my opinion, greater than Friday. Again there were queues, but not such exaggeration as Saturday. It was one more day of children and dads / moms than a day for gamers. Of course, the eSports area was overflowing . Both with ESL and with LVP and Orange.
Although I want to dedicate an article, I can not stop mentioning how my heart broke with the indies. While the triple AAA occupied a large part of the space and the queues remained infinite, the Indies were forgotten. They were arranged in different areas, not centered as they have been in the past. The most indies indies were next to the wall, in the area where they were connecting Pavilion 12 and 14. Those who came backed by PlayStation Talents had a larger space in Hall 14 and, at least, a much more comfortable place .
It bothers me that fans of video games, to a large extent, have not wanted to give an opportunity to the little Spanish indies that, fire, are from here, are ours. But it hurts me even more to see how the press ignores the indies . Yes, it is something that has been done for a long time. We like to belittle our people , to think that their work is not worth it. And that’s why many will not even be mentioned when talking about “the indies we’ve tried” in most media. We do not look at independent studies until they are famous, until it seems that their game can succeed. That’s why we talk about RiME or Blasphemous.
I’m not saying that it’s wrong to talk about those, the famous ones. But it is wrong that we overlook others for not having so many resources, for looking like minor productions. We judge before knowing anything and that’s why we ignore that part of the Madrid Games Week.
The Madrid Games Week 2018 has been an experience that has not left me with a good taste, but not bad either. Let’s say that I’ve just stepped over it, I’ve looked from one side to the other, and I’ve moved on. What does this mean? At the organizational level, I think it has been missing something that stands out more . It has been somewhat decaffeinated. It has been necessary to give greater importance to what is really important, worth the redundancy. That is, press, indies and any Spanish company that needs to stand out in the industry.
Special mention, yes, for the space of the ESL, for small spaces of virtual reality and robotics and, incidentally, for the “stand” of Nintendo, which had a good number of games in its wide area. Now, after the Games Week hangover, we’d better prepare for the Barcelona Games World .