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Normally at a show/convention/festival such as PAXAus the big video game companies bring a couple of semi-trailer’s worth of gear.  Well the semi-trailers are here, but they are not laden with the brand names most in the mainstream would expect.

Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Activision-Blizzard, these are amongst the big names typical at a gaming orientated show such as the one currently underway in Melbourne Australia.

PAXAus is a show casing all types of geek pop-culture and the crowds are lapping it up.  There are swarms of people attending panels and sessions whilst the various booths are also seeing lines of eagre fans.

Ubisoft is here showcasing titles such as Just Dance 4, Rayman Legends and The Mighty Quest for Epic loot amongst others.  Nintendo is also here with a number of yet-to-be-released titles such as the DS game Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.  The Nintendo booth is doing great business.

However dominating the floor landscape are the two big guns of the gaming world right now.

No, it’s not Call of Duty, World of Warcraft or StarCraft, it’s League of Legends and World of Tanks.

Riot Game’s League of Legends set up is as impressive and epic as the game has become online.  The crowds milling around the gigantic stage set up are lapping up the hype, the cosplay, the give-aways and the competitive on-stage LoL battles.

It is truly epic, when the crowd roars the whole festival feels the effects.

Similarly Wargaming.net’s popular World Of Tanks not only includes a stage the scale of Riots, but also adds a real tank on the back of a military truck as part of the display.  

Millions of people play WoT, the literature tells us 45 million, but Wargaming insiders told iTWire last night that the game has now ticked over 65 million registered players world-wide.  Compare that to the peak of World of Warcraft at around 12 million.

PAX is a different type of show; it is not about the media, nor the publishers or big game companies per se.  It is instead aimed at providing gamers a chance to congregate and explore new offerings in their chosen hobbies.  

It’s not about Electronic Arts, Sony or Activision, it’s about the games and the culture, and right now at the top of the heap as far as electronic gaming goes, its League of Legends and World of Tanks.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.