BitSummit, Japan’s Independent Gaming Expo

This past weekend was the fourth-annual BitSummit, an exposition dedicated to promoting the Japanese independent development scene. The expo was created by James Mielke, Q Games founder Dylan Cuthbert, and others. Unlike the E3 and more akin to PAX and MAGFest, BitSummit is open to the public and features panels with game industry luminaries, live musical performances, and live demos from Japanese and western independent game developers. It also serves as a place for Japanese and western developers to meet up, make contacts, and do their share to promote the Japanese game development scene.

Interestingly enough, the indie gaming scene in Japan is still relatively new; it has picked up momentum in last few years, however the combination of doujinshi (hobbyist) tradition, lack of support of digital gaming platforms, and the cultural tendency to work with one large studio has prevented independent game development from taking off in Japan as rapidly as it has in other countries (i.e. the US). The goal of BitSummit is to provide support to indie game developers who show their hard work that otherwise might not have the opportunity to do so. Plus, the expo provides the Japanese public a view of thier country’s indie gaming scene and lets them play hands-on demos from Downwell to Shovel Knight to Videoball and see what the fuss is about.

Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi drawing a crowd…

Check out USGamer’s Kat Bailey’s coverage of BitSummit 2016 RIGHT HERE!

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