SXSW 2023 Sydney Banner Key Art

SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival Unveils Indie Game Lineup

South by Southwest (SXSW) Sydney, a festival celebrating the convergence of emerging technology, has offered a first look into what the SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival will look like.

SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival will showcase a wide variety of video games, and host an international esports tournament, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), partnering with the ESL.

What is SXSW Sydney?

SXSW Sydney is a week-long event that brings together the tech and innovation, games, music, and screen industries from October 15-22, 2023. The event will host a variety of speakers, panels, workshops, performances, and exhibitions.

The SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival, one of the four key components of the event, caters to all segments of the interconnected gaming industry, including game developers and passionate gamers alike.

This festival will delve into emerging prospects in game development, publishing, and hardware manufacturing, and offer game demonstrations, exciting announcements, interactive gameplay, stage sessions, live performances, screenings, networking opportunities, investment sessions, and workshops.

I’m incredibly humbled to work with a team that shares the vision of presenting an event designed to showcase the power, creativity and possibility of games in 2023. From the biggest, most accessible showcase of independent games in Australia, to the sheer spectacle of Intel Extreme Masters, we cannot wait to put Sydney on the map as an unmissable date in the international games calendar.

Luke Lancaster, Head of Games, SXSW Sydney
SXSW 2023 Sydney Banner Key Art with Dates

What Can You Expect to See At SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival?

The SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival is a great opportunity for games industry professionals and emerging talent to connect, collaborate, and experience the best content in the Asia-Pacific region.

Here is what you can expect from the games festival:

  • Indie Games Showcase: A curated showcase of 150 independent games from ANZ and around the world.
  • Games Industry Conference Track: Inspirational panels and presentations focused on current trends, convergence with other creative fields, solutions to issues facing the games industry, and visions for the future.
  • Tabletop Festival: An expo dedicated solely to the tabletop games community, including exhibitors, demos, seminars, and stage sessions.
  • XR Showcase: Hands-on demos of astounding augmented and virtual reality pieces.
  • Games Festival Stage: A stage packed with performances, presentations, and live gameplay for the wider games audience.
  • Investment Summit: Matchmade meetings, stage pitch sessions, casual networking events, and a full docket of other events for developers to connect with scouts, publishers, and investors.
  • Social Hub: A dedicated venue for parties, mixers, playtesting, and networking events.
  • “Midnighters” Games Edition: Following in the footsteps of SXSW Austin’s “Midnighters” horror film program, a one-night selection of horror games and stage content.
  • Student Showcase: Featuring award-winning tertiary students’ works from around Australia.

What Indie Games Will Be At SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival?

The SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival will feature over 150 playable indie games, with eight Australian games already confirmed for the festival. The games are:

  • Gubbins (Studio Folly): One of the most anticipated games on the list is Gubbins, from Melbourne-based Studio Folly. Gubbins is a puzzle-directed game where players place tiles to construct words.
  • The Master’s Pupil (Pat Naoum): Another notable game on the list is The Master’s Pupil, from Sydney-raised indie game developer Pat Naoum. The Master’s Pupil is a game set inside the human eye and is inspired by Naoum’s graphic design background.
  • Knuckle Sandwich (Andy Brophy): Andy Brophy is one half of Melbourne game collective, Hovergarden, and his game, Knuckle Sandwich, is a game about a young man who travels to a mysterious island paradise. The game features a series of mini-games, enemies, challenges and memory puzzles.
  • Surf Club (Olivia Haines): Olivia Haines, a game developer based in Melbourne, presents her debut game that revolves around the character Holly, a young woman in her early twenties. Returning to her hometown to reignite an old flame, Holly embarks on an exploration of the seaside town and reconnects with the locals.
  • Birth (Madison Karrh): Madison Karrh, a solo developer known for creating personal and macabre games, combines whimsical physics puzzles with a delicate hand-drawn art style in her semi-autobiographical work. Her latest release, Birth, is an introspective game centred around living alone in a bustling metropolis.
  • Repella Fella (Phill): Set in a post-apocalyptic futuristic Australia, Repella Fella is a comedic yet dramatic game that follows three characters striving for a better life.
  • The Chef’s Shift (Panitia GameDev): Hailing from a small collective of independent developers who connected online through GameJam+, The Chef’s Shift is a high-speed typing game set in a bustling restaurant.
  • Wood & Weather (Paper House): This Melbourne-based indie developer draws inspiration from their immediate surroundings. Wood & Weather presents a single-player god-game set in a miniature wooden toy city.
  • The Godfeather (Hojo Studio): Founded in 2013 by Rick Salter and Jola Szymanska, Hojo Studio returns with their latest creation, The Godfeather, a roguelike game that follows the journey of a mafia pigeon.
  • Fractured Core (Engram Interactive): Developer Engram Interactive is a small indie studio located in Bali, and their latest game, Fractured Core, is a turn-based RPG set in 2105 Germany.

The SXSW Sydney 2023 Games Festival offers a dynamic showcase of the gaming industry, with interactive gameplay, stage sessions, and networking opportunities. The Indie Games Showcase offers over 150 games, and from the eight games that have already been selected, I can’t wait to see the rest. You can check out all the pricing details here.

Director

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