Highlights from Milan Games Week
With the dust settling over another successful Milan Games Week, it’s time to take a look back over what we learned from this epic gaming event. Many gamers will have been keen to see what products legendary software developers like Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Bandai Namco were unveiling. But there was also a space dedicated to a surprisingly healthy range of independent Italian games developers to show just how advanced the nation’s gaming scene has become.
In terms of gaming entertainment, there was an excellent selection of esports tournaments that took in the likes of Fortnite, Hearthstone, Rainbow Six and even Gran Turismo Sport. But all eyes were on the Red Bull Factions competition that saw an epic League of Legends battle between the hotly-tipped Italian esports organisations, Team Forge and Outplayed. And with special guest appearances from legendary games developers like David Cage, a great retro gaming zone, and a dazzling selection of weird and wonderful cosplayers, it showed that the gaming in Italy has reached a new high point.
Who won Red Bull Factions?
The Red Bull Factions LoL tournament took place on 7 October, and it didn’t let down the 7,000 esports fans who packed into the PG Arena. Once again, the Italian esports organisation, Team Forge picked up the honours with a 2-1 final victory against Outplayed. As Outplayed had been displaying consistently good form with an excellent 2-0 win against MOBA ROG in the semi-finals, it could have gone either way. But Team Forge managed to make their experience count by picking up their third successive Red Bull Factions victory and have reasserted their dominance of the Italian esports scene.
The win will have been a great confidence boost for Team Forge who were disappointed not to perform better in last year’s EU CS 2017 Spring Season. But Outplayed can also take heart from the exceptional performances from the likes of Orome who even picked up the Most Valuable Player award despite having only rejoined the team for the Red Bull Factions tournament. And with further decent appearances from rising teams like MOBA ROG and iDomina eSports, it seems that the Italian esports seen could easily deliver a world-beating side soon.
What new games were previewed?
Whilst the competitive gaming action kept over 28,000 unique streamers entertained, it was the unveiling of several hugely anticipated games that really put Milan Games Week on the map. Once again, Nintendo managed to provide a huge talking point when they wheeled in an enormous school bus that was packed with gaming stations for fans to enjoy trying out new titles like Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!
Not to be outdone, Sony used the event to showcase the exceptional Gran Turismo Sport alongside their latest VR creations. These included the hugely promising Resident Evil Biohazard that looks to be the most blood-spattered outing yet, whilst Bandai Namco unveiled their latest VR offering, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. The Xbox stand was lit up by a beautiful red Ferrari sports car that was used to promote the arrival of the Forza Horizon 4 game, and Koch Media gave us chance to see Shadow of the Tomb Raider, as well as the hotly tipped first-person shooter, Metro Exodus.
What does this mean for Italian esports?
Whilst Milan Games Week still has some way to go before it can equal the magnitude of gaming events like PAX or E3, it shows that Italy is getting very serious about esports and software development. Nowhere was this better seen than in the Milan Games Week Indie area where there were 46 independent Italian games developers who were on hand to showcase over 20 titles like All-Star Fruit Racing, Beyond the Castle, Before the Plague and Mind Labyrinth VR Dreams. Milan Games Week also proved to be capable of attracting some of the biggest games developers in the business. In particular, the legendary French games developer, David Cage, was present to explain some of the finer points of hits like Detroit: Become Human and show us why Quantic Dream are one of the most exciting gaming brands on the market.
Above all it was the sheer enthusiasm shown by the thousands of eager gamers that really signifies what an important event Milan Games Week is. Whether you were trying new titles like Kingdom Hearts III on the Sony stand, or were even joining the chaos alongside Giorgia Cosplay in the cosplay parade, it showed that gaming in Italy is going from strength to strength. And with plenty of great live music performances, an awesome retro gaming section that featured a human-sized Nintendo Gameboy, and many insightful tutorials from expert developers, we are expecting big things from the next Milan Games Week.