Business

Lessons from Tokyo Game Show 2017: Business Day Guide

By Arya Wibowo

Do you want to optimize your business trip activities in the next TGS? Here is some business day guide from some local game developers who exhibited in TGS 2017!


Are you looking to optimize your business trip activities in the next Tokyo Game Show or other big expos? Here are some suggestions from some local game developers who exhibited in TGS 2017!

For indie developers, focusing on the Tokyo Game Show business day may be a good option because of the massive opportunity provided there. You can absorb knowledge from global developers and look for potential business partnerships with publishers.

But how can we prepare for the best result? We asked our fellow developers from Indonesia about their experience in the Tokyo Game Show business day. There are M. Fahmi from Toge Productions, Eva Mulyawati from Megaxus, and Igor Tanzil from Critical Forge.

So these are some tips and guidelines that may be useful for you if you are going to exhibit at the next Tokyo Game Show:

Have a Game Ready to Showcase

Toge Productions TGS 2017 business day guide

Ultra Super Battle Brawl, one of the games that Toge Productions brought.

Don’t come to these kinds of expos if you don’t have a game ready to showcase! Obviously, the most important thing here is that you have a good game that can make people love it. Without a good game to play, any other suggestions below doesn’t matter anymore.

“If you have a product that is ready to showcase, it is a perfect event to tap into Japanese game industry. In the end, the thing that matters the most is whether you have a good game that you present in a good way or not,” said Fahmi from Toge Productions.

Arrange Meetings with Everyone

TGS 2017 business day party

In big business game industry events, there’s usually a meeting set-up system that allows you the opportunity to meet various industry people, including the big guns. That is also available in TGS. If you are lucky, you can meet the big companies in Japan such as Square Enix, Konami, Bandai Namco, Sony, and many more.

“Shoot for the stars and try to arrange meetings with everyone, especially the big names, but always be open to unfamiliar names for the business meetings. There were a few meetings with what turned out to be amazing companies that we just didn’t know about before that we were very grateful we took,” said Igor from Critical Forge.

“The B2B event is supported by the business matching system, which allows companies to set up meetings with some companies that fit their business criteria and schedule. The business matching system contains a list of companies that participate in the TGS event, and it is useful for any companies to have access to it,” Eva, the CEO of Megaxus, added.

Localize Your Game

“When you are showcasing your game to a non-English speaking country like Japan, Korea, or China, your game NEEDS TO BE AVAILABLE IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE. At least for the demo that you are showcasing. It was fine with USBB (Ultra Super Battle Brawl) and Hellbreaker because both games focus on action, but it was a big mistake for a game like She. A lot of people showed interest in the game, but immediately turned back when they saw the game is only available in English,” Fahmi explained.

Japan, Korea, and China are countries who have high pride of their local languages. The English speaking people are also relatively low and they expect games to be localized to their language. So it is a very great idea to make a version with their local languages.

Lessons from Gamescom 2017: Do’s and Don’ts On Attending Gamescom as Indie Developers

Attending a big gaming expo like Gamescom, E3 and Tokyo Game Show, especially as an indie developer, understandably you need a thorough preparation.

Mind your manners

Just as mentioned in the lessons from Gamescom 2017 article, your attitude towards the attendance is really important. And the most important is: it really helps you, if not in the present, it does in the future.

To really optimize your time in the event, you must actively approach and welcome booth visitors. Keep a smile on your face, and be friendly.

“Never be rude, especially when it comes to business connections. This is a bit of a two-way street, as exhibitors, we have to be welcoming to everyone; as a visitor or someone looking to develop a business relationship, it does help if you are friendly. Mutual respect and civility just goes a very long way for both parties,” said Igor.

Prepare Promotional Materials Thoroughly

Archipelageek TGS 2017 business day guide

The opening of the government supported Archipelageek booths.

As Eva said, if you are exhibiting in events such as Tokyo Game Show, printed promotional materials are a must bring. Make more than you think you need because we never know how many people will visit your booth. It is better to have many leftovers materials left than having no supply of them when we need them.

Video trailers and demo devices are important too. Prepare them well because if you have trouble in displaying your games, then you will have difficulties to make people impressed.

Talking about printed materials, name cards are as important, if it’s not the most important. Having exchanged name cards with people of interests, you can then follow them up after the events and maybe materialize business partnership after that, hopefully.

Look for Inspirations

There are so many developers exhibiting in Tokyo Game Show. You can take inspirations how other indie developers and publishers around the world designed their booth, their materials, and how they prepare.

Lessons from Gamescom 2017: Do’s and Don’ts On Attending Gamescom as Indie Developers

Attending a big gaming expo like Gamescom, E3 and Tokyo Game Show, especially as an indie developer, understandably you need a thorough preparation.


So those are the Tokyo Game Show business day guide that hopefully can provide you with some useful information.

On the other hand, our source also shared a lesson from the event organizing point of view. Igor Tanzil from Critical Forge said that he was awed by the detailed preparation by the event organizer.

“Overall, the business days at TGS was just a phenomenal experience. From the sheer number of non-public attendees and the way the meeting area was organized, it was really a sight to behold. In terms of best practices, I think the organizational ethics at play during the event and the way everything was planned for is something every event around the world should strive to duplicate. They seem to account for everything including human error – from open meeting areas to schedule meeting areas, there are redundancies and a plan for everything exhibitors and visitors needed,” he said.

Edited by Devi

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About Writer


Arya is a gamer dad, boardgame geek, and game industry enthusiast. He loves strategy games and soccer games.