Playcrafting, an organization focused on teaching game development skills and providing networking opportunities for developers, has announced the launch of a new gaming convention by the name of Play NYC as reported by Polygon.
Playcrafting originally started as a handful of developers getting together to show each other their games and get feedback. Over the last few years, it's grown into an organization that features educational opportunities for game developers ranging from a day or two all the way up to multi-week courses. In addition to their classes, Playcrafting has quarterly expos such as the recent Spring Play Expo 2017 (which our author attended and subsequently wrote about here). For the last couple of years, these expos took place at the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square and would typically have one hundred or more developers and attendees numbering in the high hundreds. After the conclusion of this year's Spring Play, the organization announced that their summer expo would be much bigger than before.
Enter Play NYC, the first of what will be a yearly gaming convention in New York City. One might think that the biggest city in the United States of America would have its fair share of big-ticket gaming events, but it really doesn't. The key issue is that New York City (or more specifically, the boro of Manhattan) is awfully short on venues that can accommodate thousands or tens of thousands of people. While one might expect high hundreds or low thousands for a business or technical convention, entertainment-centered conventions for video games, comics, or anime can and often do have tens of thousands of attendees.
New York City is also decidedly lacking in a big convention dedicated to gaming. Sure, some conventions have games tacked on - New York Comic Con is estimated to be about 20% focused on video games and it had 180,000 attendees last year across its four separate venues - but games are an afterthought in such cases. If you lived near New York City and wanted to go to a convention absolutely dedicated to gaming, the closest option is PAX East all the way up in Boston, Massachusetts. In ideal conditions, that's a three-and-a-half hour drive - and Boston traffic is rarely ideal.
"Basically, what we are doing is putting together New York’s version of PAX meets GDC. We’re going to finally give New York the dedicated games convention it deserves." -Dan Butchko, Playcrafting CEOPlay NYC will take over all three floors and the roof of Terminal 5, a concert venue on West 56th Street & 11th Avenue. The vast majority of the 21,000 square feet of space will be dedicated to developers showcasing their games, although Play NYC will also have panels and networking opportunities for interested parties. Many local indie developers will be represented, and Playcrafting's CEO Dan Butchko stated that there will also be "five big games and five big names" making a showing.
If you'd like to attend the very first Play NYC, it takes place on August 19-20, 2017. Pre-order ticket prices are $20 per day for general access and $35 for the "Developers & Professionals" ticket which grants access to panels and industry networking events. All ticketholders will also have access to the Playcrafting after-party. You can pre-register for tickets to Play NYC at the event's official website.
Update: The price for the Developers & Professionals Pass is Currently listed on the site as $50 and not $35 as originally written in the article.
Will you be attending Play NYC? What do you think of the availability of gaming events in New York City in general? What do you think of Terminal 5 as the choice of venue? Let us know in the comments below!