Busan Indie Connect Festival - Growing as an Icon Representing Indie

Published : Monday, January 15, 2018, 10:37 am
ACROFAN=Min-Hak Kim | | SNS
Busan Indie Connect Festival 2017 (BIC Festival 2017), held at Busan Cinema Center from September 15th to September 17th, attracted a maximum of 12,273 people and finished the three-day event with great success.

▲ The 'BIC Festival 2017', which was held for three days, was completed successfully.

BIC Festival 2017, the third event of the year, is a global game festival organized as a part of the promotion business of small and indie games and the game industry development in Busan. It is organized by Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency, Indiera!, which is a meeting of indie game developers, and Korea Mobile Game Association, hosted by Busan Indie Connect Festival Organizing Committee, sponsored by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), Busan Metropolitan City, and Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA).

This year, more than 110 exhibits from 21 countries selected from 378 entries in 32 countries have been exhibited so that the event grew quantitatively over the past year. Though various platforms such as PC, Web, mobile and VR, most of the entries have shown excellent quality rivaling established games. Visitors were free to experience the exhibition during the three days of the event and had the opportunity to talk with the developers of the exhibition.

During the event, the 18th typhoon "Tallim" came, and although the rainstorm ran strongly on the venue, there were not many game users on the 16th and 17th when ordinary visitors could participate. Developers who welcomed the visitors at booths of domestic and foreign game participating companies did not lose their laughter even in unpleasant environments.

The 'BIC Festival 2017', which celebrates its third anniversary this year, has adopted a number of policies different from the previous events and showed its desire to move to a further developed event.

First of all, it is most noticeable that the festival introduced fee-charging policy from this event. Until now, 'BIC Festival' was held as a free event mainly for amateur participants, but as the proportion of professional developers gradually increased, the organizing committee decided to introduce fee-charging policy for presenting greater indie games to audience interested in them.

Tickets for 'BIC Festival 2017' were sold through advance on-line purchase and on-site purchase. The advance on-line selling price was 4,000 won for 1 day and 8,000 won for two days. The on-site selling price was 6,000 won for 1 day and 10,000 won for two days.

Of course, the organizing committee has made a lot of efforts to expand the event and its interior facilities as it started fee-charging. In addition to expanding the size of the game booth at the main exhibition hall, various events such as MCN events, indie band performances, e-sports events and other events were held on the main stage. Developer conferences, networking events, and food truck zone are also parts that were more focused than last year.

On the first day of 'BIC Festival 2017', the variety of conference topics created for developers has also been a driving force behind the success.

At the conference, experts from various fields including Katie Stegs of Lumi Consulting, which specializes in game marketing consulting, Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro, who is a producer of Spy Fiction, Deadly Premonition, D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, and etc., ‘Byulbram’ Kim Kwang-sam, who produced many popular works such as 'Her Knights: All for the Princess', and Ken Wong, who carried out the designs for 'Monument Valley' and 'Alice: Madness Returns', participated as speakers and told audiences a wide range of stories about the game with several topics including cloud systems, marketing, and design field.

Especially, "Replica: a game as a political medium", a keynote lecture conducted by game developer Somi, has become a meaningful time to let people know that the game medium can have a big impact on artistry and human life beyond entertainment.

▲ The conference held at ‘BIC Festival 2017’ came with developers on various topics.

Communication with audiences through the stage events was also a great pleasure for audiences and it showed great improvement of the event.

During 'BIC Festival 2017', there was a game show and fan signing at the main stage with popular creators and BJ such as Lee Sang-ho, Lee Yoon-yeol, Dr. Lee and King Na-sung. Through the main stage event, BIC Festival 2017 was more easily explained to audiences and described as a participatory event to enjoy together.

Particularly, fan signing after the program was a time to realize the popularity of BJ and creators since it had a long line, and interests in the games introduced by them were also confirmed at the event site.

▲ Programs for indie games held on the main stage of the venue gained a great response from audiences.

The indie game e-sports event that took place together has become the most popular event of 'BIC Festival 2017'.

The indie game e-sports event was held for the first time at 'BIC Festival 2016' by the creator 'Ulsan Big Whale’ and it was broadcasted on the big screen of the main stage after it was designated as a formal event of 'BIC Festival 2017'.

The special exhibition of indie game e-sports of 'BIC Festival 2017' was held in a way to fight with Hut 90's action indie game 'Akuto: Mad World'. 'Akuto: Mad World' is a survival-type fighting game that takes place at a fast tempo. It is played in a way that players who killed more enemies win through various weapons and strategies in one space.

A total of 7 sets of matches were held at 'BIC Festival 2017' on the day, and the one who has the highest kill points became a winner. The four winners of the preliminary contest before the final match, Ahn Kyeong-deok, Kim Sung-il, Choi Yoon-sung, and Choi Hee-do, did their best to become a final winner. While fierce competition was continued for every set until the final set of matches, Choi Hee-do (with 59 kills) achieved the highest kill points with a one-point difference between Kim Sung-il, who took the second place, and got three million won prize.

After the final award ceremony, a special one-on-one match between the winner Choi Hee-do and the developer was held. In this match, Choi Hee-do won the championship 10-4 once again and showed off skills that suit for the winner.

▲ At 'BIC Festival 2017', final match of 'Akuto: Mad World' e-Sports was broadcasted live.

Likewise, BIC Festival 2017, which was held for three days, was completed with great success along with advanced events. As an impression concluding the event at the closing ceremony, Seo Tae-geon, Chairman of Busan Indie Connect Festival Organizing Committee celebrated the success of ‘BIC Festival 2017’ by saying, "Even the typhoon could not break the heat of the BIC".

Meanwhile, as this event is being held as an extension of 'Construction of Indie Game Ecosystem', which is one of the five strategies of ‘Busan Game Industry’s New Promotion Plan’ announced in Busan last July, ‘BIC Festival’ continues to grow year after year.

As a result, the indie game industry will be focused according to the expansion of its popularity and Busan City is expected to continue systematical support and promotion to 'BIC Festival' with 'G-STAR' for realizing 'Busan City of Global Game'.

The official from Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency that organized this event said, “We aim to expand the e-sports of indie games for next year's BIC festival and to strengthen business matching for the growth of small and medium indie game companies. In the long term, we plan to promote not only games but also indie-culture related exhibitions, events and markets at the same time to become the world's leading indie hub event.”

▲ 'BIC Festival' will lead to a festival like Busan through global branding.

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