he three-day event attracted approximately 3,200 professional buyers from over 40 countries to witness the most innovative and creative products in the Asia-Pacific Region.
A grand gathering of 100-plus exhibitors
Jointly organized by GTI Magazine, Taiwan Digital Entertainment Association (TDEA) and Taiwan Amusement Machine Association (TAMA), GTI Asia Taipei Expo successfully entered its 18th edition from May 5~7 at B & C Zones, Hall 1 of Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC).
In addition to Namco, Bandai, RS from Japan, Game Art, Karen Industry and YATTA Lunta Denshi Kaisha from Hong Kong, Hankook and VOGOS from Korea, Australia-based MEI and Zhongshan Golden Dragon Amusement, Hua Hau Science & Technology, Star Amusement Equipment from China as well as British media InterGame and the staff of EAG show, a long list of domestic and global exhibitors seized this three-day event to showcase their latest product lines and most innovative R&D achievements. Based on the official statistics, 3,261 visitors attended 2011 GTI Asia Taipei Expo in total as well as 891 overseas buyers that came from more than 40 different countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, German, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Iran ,Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland, Slovenia, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, Vietnam, the UK and the US.
Grand inauguration with dynamic participation
The inauguration of GTI Asia Taipei Expo commenced at 10 a.m. on May 5th. A long cluster of influential characters from different professional fields attended this grand opening such as Chairman of China e-Game Industry Association (CGIA), Jin-Hua Liou, Chief Secretary of CGIA, Sheng Zhang, Chairman of Taiwan Arcade Industry Association, Wan-Te Yang, Chairman of Gift Claim Vender Association, Wen-Bin Wei, Dean of School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at National Chin-Yi University, Wen-Yuan Chen, Project Manager of Digital Content Industry Development and Assistance, Di-Fu Hu and so forth.
The opening ceremony was kicked off by the remarks of Chairman of TAMA, Jhe-Wun Ou and Chairman TDEA, Kun-Mou Lu. The legislator, Yu-Fang Lin delivered his gratification to the guests from China sparing their precious time to participate in the GTI Expo. Head of Department of Commerce (DOC), the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Yun-Lung Yeh generally revealed Taiwan government’s developmental plan and made a brief explanation regarding the influence of Taiwan Government Reengineering which may incorporate the DOC with the Industrial Development Bureau under the MOEA. Chairman of CGIA, Jin-Hua Liou introduced the status quo of the electronic game industry in China and welcomed and encouraged Taiwanese enterprises extending their business to China. At the end, all of the guests jointly cut the red ribbon and announced the official opening of GTI Asia Taipei Expo. Although the scale of the show slightly decreased this year, the exhibitors of the GTI Expo kept pouring a large amount of resources into this annual event such as hiring show girls and holding a series of exciting tournaments and made best use of this exhibition to demonstrate their strength and their latest product lines.
On the afternoon of the first day, in a bid to call for public and government attention to the development of the electronic game industry as well as synthesize pragmatic boosting measures for the industry from professionals, TDEA and TAMA held a forum named “New Concept, New Vision” from 13:30~16:00 at the 2nd floor conference room in Hall 1, TWTC. A large crowd of experts including government officials, professionals from the academic institutions as well as industrial leaders joined this opinion-sharing meeting. After the exhibition hours of the first day, GTI held a dinner party at Taipei City Hall Banquet Salle. There were approximately 75 tables for local and foreign exhibitors from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and other countries around the world to enjoy the most genuine Taiwanese food. The feast also provided a perfect occasion for networking and exploring potential business opportunities.
Asia-Pacific strikes its own path
GTI Asia Taipei Expo is being considered as an international exhibition that offers the most diversified product lines in Asia Pacific Region nowadays. The transformation of the show is highly connected with the development of Taiwan’s amusement game industry, which is now targeting more on its export. Among the countries around the world, Taiwan’s amusement game industry is advantageous in having a well-structured industrial chain including program design and manufacturing accessories like IC boards, cabinets and other items in guaranteed quality. Moreover, with years of experience in providing OEM and ODM services for global enterprises, the amusement game industry in Taiwan now has established its own operational procedure and system, which covers developing games, marketing, and resource management.
In 2010, the US and European markets recovered slightly but the unemployment rates in both regions were still high. Middle-class people’s consumption power decreased drastically due to the overall economic condition. Including last year’s AM Show in Japan, G2E in Macau, G2E and IAAPA in the US, and even ICE, which was just held this January in the UK, the number of exhibitors in most game-related exhibitions around the world apparently shrank. The stagnant economy also slowed down the new arrival of creative works from the developed world. By contrast, in the GTI Expo this year, Taiwanese game developers kept releasing creative products no matter in the field of hardware, program design or game design. For instance, Taiwan Yuanmei’s latest pinball machine “Hunter Pinball” applies a large-size LCD panel that elevates the pinball machine’s hardware standard. Feng Yi Fu also brings new idea to its pinball machine “Football Carnival” via combining typical game play and running lights. Hypaa exhibits the whole new version of “Mozarc,” which had caught a great amount of visitors’ attention last year.
The exhibits like “Fishing Expert” and “Burger Expert” on the show floor this year revealed that China’s huge market potential had pushed Taiwanese game developers to adjust their business strategies and launch more products catering for the Chinese consumers. Some games added simplified Chinese characters to their language options and some games used celebrated sceneries in China as their background images. Long before the government of Taiwan signing ECFA with China, Taiwanese enterprises had already reached a consensus that entering the Chinese market is an inevitable and unstoppable trend. Moreover, many industrial leaders pointed out the rise of the Chinese market not only made up their losses in the decreased domestic market but also provided a bigger product demands. Ke-Zhu Li, the president of IGS shared his opinion that, “45% of our revenue is generated by the Chinese market.” General Director of JT-Comatz Trading, Jing-Shan Zhou, also expressed that, “We will focus more on the Chinese market from 2011. It is time to move forward so we launched several new products at the GTI Expo this year.”
Nowadays, even though the amusement game market in Asia has a stronger demand in game machines and related equipment than in the Europe and US market, it is recommended that Taiwanese businesses still have to operate their businesses in a steady and pragmatic way by laying the groundwork firmly in Taiwan and then making gradual and meticulous deployments globally.
General Manager of Injoy Motion Jiang-Xun Jian said, “During this period of time, it would be a perfect moment to make adjustments step by step. The western market is going to revive so that we need to find out a suitable deployment around the globe and make sure that we will be ready for embracing the next heyday of the European and American market.” Faced with the future, GTI Asia Taipei Expo will continue to shoulder the responsibilities of assisting the upgrade of the amusement game industry, facilitating communications between industrial and academic sectors and creating more and more domestic and overseas business opportunities.
The 19th GTI Asia Taipei Expo now is temporarily scheduled on May 10~12, 2012.