rAge 2013 broke its own attendance records, with 32,626 gamers, tech consumers and computer fanatics swarming through the expo. That’s just under 13% more than in 2012!
But we’re not surprised.
rAge is the only place on the African continent where gamers got the opportunity to hold the controllers of unreleased consoles in their hands for the very first time – including the Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.
rAge is also the only place where brand-spanking new games are laid out for gamers to sample, even before they’ve been released overseas. And this year, the games that had gamers drooling in anticipation included Battlefield 4, Need for Speed: Rivals, Drive Club, Batman: Arkham Origins, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, Final Fantasy XII: Lightning Returns and Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – to name a few.
At the NAG home_coded Make Games SA stand, local game developers showcased their own games, proving that local talent is rising fast... Giant Box Games’ Pixelboy and retrofuture’s zx Hyperblast were among the games wowing experienced gamers.
Meanwhile, more than 2,100 gaming enthusiasts converged with their PCs, keyboards, sleeping bags and energy drinks into the Coca-Cola Dome to take part in the 52-hour BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) LAN. The super-fast Internet connection provided by Internet Solutions gave these gamers the means to play online, with the mighty Intel powering the servers and HP switches connecting them all to one network. More than a few gamers went home with “headphone hair”, but if anything, this only fuelled their passion! “Again again again.....rAge LAN was off the chain!! I'll be back again next year for sure!!!” writes one such die-hard gamer.
Ultra-competitive programmers battled it out at the Entelect R100K Challenge – the tournament hosted by Entelect Software and NAG Magazine. Pierre Pretorius, the winning software developer, walked away with R100,000 in cash after the gruelling challenge.
And what would rAge be without the cosplayers who take their passion for game characters, comic heroes and movie villains to the next level? This year’s cosplay ccompetition (hosted by Legion Ink) attracted 87 entrants – up from 70 in 2012. In fact, the original judging schedule had to be scrapped, since there were so many entrants! “Had such an amazing time cosplaying at this year's rAge expo, definitely coming back next year” wrote one cosplayer on the expo’s dedicated Facebook page.
These incredible experiences were among many on offer at rAge. The exhibitors, sponsors, contributors and organisers who made this year’s expo so successful have a challenge on their hands: how to top the 2013 expo next year?
Michael James, Senior Project Manager for rAge and also Publisher of NAG Magazine, had this to say: “For all the right reasons I felt that this was one of the best ones we’ve ever done. We addressed many of the crowd control issues from 2012, and had the best Internet any NAG LAN gamer has ever seen. Everyone was happy and, considering Friday was technically a school day, we still destroyed our previous attendance record. As always, I must thank my amazing, dynamic and awesome team, all the exhibitors and of course everyone that took time out of their busy lives to come to our show. We’re already chatting, thinking and throwing ideas around for rAge 2014; as always the show evolves each year and we’re hard at work evolving with it.”