Across the street from the E3 Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, upstairs at the Icon Ultra Lounge is a smaller convention known as Show Stoppers. Though many exhibitors are at both locations, Show Stoppers offer a more intimate setting for them to show off their wares. This year, We Made Entertainment a leading Korean online game developer gave the keynote presentation for the evening affair, though their booth on the expo floor was as large as better-known publishers.
Founded in Korea in 2000, We Made established U.S. headquarters in Seattle, in 2008 and is looking to make serious inroads with U.S. gamers. They are planning to release 20 different games this year for the iOS and Android platforms. Announced this week is Project Dragon: The Roar from the Dungeon. The game is a great looking hack and slash RPG like Diablo, or Dungeon Hunter but will have community based, MMO qualities.
Sony’s newly renamed Playstation Mobile is breaking down the lines between console gaming and phone and tablet gaming. While it remains to be seen if things will play out like We Made expects, with mobile gaming becoming dominant, they have a number of titles across a variety of genres nearly ready for launch on both mobile platforms. Action fans will enjoy the 2D fighting game, Friend Fighter, the side-scrolling multiplayer, Goblin Mobile or even the aptly named, Rhythm Scandal, which is like Space Channel Five meets Bratz.
Gamers on mobile devices that like to take it a bit slower, have a genre bending tower defense meets RTS combination Chaos and Defense Online, Viking Island, a sim where the amount of friends you have will determine your success. Their game Pet Island which is a lot like Farmville but where your pets work as minions and Hero Square which is a turn based RPG all require a bit of social networking. We Made has promised that PVP will soon be added to Hero Square.
Of course, Project Dragon is the game most core gamers will appreciate and not enough can be said about how good the game already looks. Stealing the mantle from the handheld consoles will require offering experiences comparable to what they now offer and finding the economical balance between free to play premium gaming. Mobile gaming will nudge a little closer with Project Dragon, which looks better and offers more than the recent Gameloft port to the Playstation Vita.
Be sure to check out our videos on YouTube and extra pictures on Facebook, subscribe to this page and check out my column on Examiner.com (www.examiner.com/la-console-rpg-in-los-angeles/lance-roth) or (http://www.examiner.com/la-actionadventure-game-in-los-angeles/lance-roth).