x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Long queues as fans flock to Dubai video games show

The region's biggest video game exhibition proved so popular on its opening day that gamers had waits of up to 45 minutes to play some of the year's most eagerly anticipated games.

DUBAI // The region's biggest video game exhibition proved so popular on its opening day yesterday that gamers had waits of up to 45 minutes to play some of the year's most eagerly anticipated games.

Games12 opened its doors to dedicated gamers in a purpose-built tent at Festival City and, according to Ije Israel, the project manager, there were more visitors than expected.

Organisers expect 20,000 visitors over the three-day event. Doors open today at 2pm and tomorrow at 11am.

Last year, 40,000 visitors attended the show - but Ms Israel attributed that attendance to high footfall in the mall. "We moved from the ice rink [in Dubai Mall] because we needed a bigger venue. The people who come here to Festival City are the true gamers," she said.

"Today has been crazy because of all the hype. We can't imagine what it will be like on Friday and Saturday."

One game that fans can play is the first-person shooter game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

"We're trying to move the crowds. People have been waiting up to 45 minutes and we are trying to shorten the time," she said.

The football game FIFA 13 is another one of the big titles that gamers are hoping to test.

Due in stores next week, players can compete in the Saudi Pro League and play as Abdulaziz Al Dosar from Hilil, one of the kingdom's top players.

Of the 39 games on display, 12 are playable. Halo 4 will be on display but not playable. Santino Marella, the WWE wrestling star, made a guest appearance yesterday afternoon.

"Another game which is proving popular is Forza Horizon, a car racing game," Ms Israel said.

The main consoles from Sony Gulf PlayStation Division and Xbox Gulf are on display along with exhibition booths sponsored by the region's software distributors, Pluto Games and Red Entertainment Distribution.

eharnan@thenational.ae