Video games became the world’s leading cultural industry several years ago, at least in terms of turnover. What is more, according to the consultancy Newzoo, specialised in the video game sector, there were more than 24.6 million players in Spain in 2018 (from a population of 46.6 million) and turnover came to more than 1,500 million euros.
Video games, however, are no longer an isolated element with no links to other areas of cultural activity or entertainment. The time when Street Fighter was exclusively an arcade game, or you could only find Super Mario Bros on Nintendo consoles, are long past. The major corporations of today are looking to provide a continuum in which cinema, video games, conferences, series and merchandising all form part of the same world. It does not matter whether a film or series leads to a video game, or the other way around. This is the background to NiceOne Barcelona, the new digital entertainment festival that has emerged from Barcelona Games World, as what gamers would call an upgrade.
This new brand is Fira de Barcelona’s take on the gamer community, adopting a typical in-game expression “nice one!” and using it as an acronym to get across the main guidelines of the new event: Networking, Innovation, Conferences and Entertainment. This is why N1B, which is to be held from 28 November to 1 December, hopes to become Spain’s number one festival for digital entertainment and one of the landmark events on the international calendar.
Consolidated success and new formats
The fact that N1B is opening up new ground does not mean that it has moved on from video games. In fact, the new show will continue to use many of the most successful areas from past editions of Barcelona Games World, such as the professional and amateur eSports competitions organised by LVP or the RetroBarcelona space, Spain’s largest event for retro-computing and classic video games, which will celebrate its seventh edition.
The festival will also take a look at an innovative sector, that of the Technosports. This is an activity that falls midway between eSports and Augmented Reality, and it has attracted a large number of followers in Asia, where games like HADO stand out.
The last edition of the show attracted more than 138,000 visitors over four days, consolidating its position as Spain’s largest event for video games and eSports.