ESC Games is a company that I first learned about after 2017's Playcrafting Bit Awards. The afterparty was hosted in a small Manhattan location and featured several original multiplayer titles throughout several rooms. This year, they were front and center at Play NYC 2018 with their game Borough Gods, and I was keen on learning a bit more about them and where they were headed.
While there are plenty of companies focusing on multiplayer games, ESC Games has a keen focus on larger multiplayer titles. Their custom-created video game experiences can support dozens or even hundreds of players through smartphones; they certainly make for a unique experience. In the last year or so, they've done a bunch of installations at local bars, casinos, and events—wherever someone thinks a large multiplayer experience would make for a good fit.
I spoke with several people from the company at Play NYC 2018, initially to talk about their title Borough Gods. A bunch of miniature race cars were battling it out on a map of New York City. Five teams—each one representing Manhattan, Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens—were trying to score as many points as possible. TechRaptor's own Robert Grosso made more than a few stops by the booth to bump up Staten Island's standing. Borough Gods was prominently placed on the first floor of Play NYC and had lots of people dropping by to see the game in action on the massive screen they had set up. This is one of the things that ESC Games does well—their large installations certainly can turn heads, wherever it is they may be.
My conversation shifted over to Kathleen Policy, Director of Business Development and General Counsel for ESC Games. I was trying to pin down what exactly ESC Games had going on these days. I was under the assumption that they were acting as a sort of arcade in Manhattan, but I learned that they had made use of that location purely for the Bit Awards afterparty. Most of the time, they're either focusing on developing new games and doing the occasional installation and aren't generally open to the public. Every now and again, some company somewhere will have a need for some kind of unique entertainment for a convention or event and ESC Games fits the bill perfectly.
At the moment, ESC Games is strongly focusing on developing the titles that they've shown off at various events. If you're lucky enough to be attending something where ESC Games is set up, you should make a point of dropping by and seeing what new interesting stuff they've cooked up for people to play. In the meantime, you can sign up on their website to be a beta tester for their projects currently in development.
Do you enjoy playing multiplayer games with dozens of people in person or do you prefer to do it alone at home? Let us know in the comments below and check out what else we saw at Play NYC by going to our Play NYC 2018 Coverage Hub.