Blackpool games guru set for biggest event

Games fans in costume taking part in one of the cosplay events at Play Expo
Games fans in costume taking part in one of the cosplay events at Play Expo

A Blackpool computer games events organiser is preparing  for his biggest ever show – set to attract more than 25,000 visitors.

The two day Play Expo Manchester will feature more than 400 arcade machines, 500 video games consoles to play retro games on, a pinball competition and talks from some of the producers of classic games titles.

Games fans at Play Expo

Games fans at Play Expo

Andy Brown of Blackpool, who runs Replay Events, said the Manchester event starting on October 14,even dwarfs the huge games convention he runs in Blackpool at the Norbreck Castle which regularly gets more than 5,000 visitors.

And he added the Blackpool event would be moving from its July slot to February next year to try to link in to offers at other attractions around Blackpool to make it more attractive to visitors.

He said: “Things are generally cheaper for visitors around that time of year and we are hoping to team up with some of the biggest names in the resort to offer deals to visitors. It will help extend the season a little bit and let people enjoy a full weekend of fun.“So far the switch has received a positive response.

The Manchester show he said was set to be the biggest ever.

“We run 20 events a year and we are just starting to move into Europe.

“When we started out we ran our event in November which is a busy time of year for the games industry and it got so big we had to move it to Manchester.

“Manchester is six times the size of the Blackpool show and this will be its sixth year.

“We have got members of the original development team for Nintendo 64 Goldeneye appearing on stage to talk about its development and expanded cosplay event.
“Play Expo Manchester is the flagship show in our year long series of events.

“We’re confident that this years’ will be our best yet.”

Many games and superhero fans dress up as favourite characters with competitions for the best costume. The event will have two stages for cosplay shows and a cosplay village.

More than 400 arcade games will be on show plus 500 computer consoles. Hardcore gamers can vote for their favourite classic in the run-up to the event and the winning game will receive its own dedicated spot within the retro zone.

It will feature a huge collection of pinball machines and a competition streamed live worldwide.