Even though we’re barely into the second quarter of 2010, a lot of gamers have already been calling Domination IV as “the gaming event of the year.” Yet labeling it merely as a “gaming event” would be a grave injustice and quite an understatement.
In a way, Domination IV succeeded in what others attempted before—and that is to bring together an eclectic mix of pop culture in one event that anybody—of any age can appreciate and enjoy.
E-games definitely outdid themselves once again delivering the Carnival and Festive theme they had promised with several carnival-style booths like the ring toss and dart games (although the presence of banners would have definitely added to the fiesta feel).
As a gaming event, Domination IV lived up to all the hype they created with the Road to Domination preparations. Just like its previous anniversary events, e-Games broke the preceding year’s record.
Domination IV gathered more than 23,000 gamers at the SMX Convention Center on April 10, continuing to break single-day gaming event attendances.
The e-Games anniversary also became the first event to host more than 300 top-of-the-line Gaming personal computers (PCs) ( (provided by Silicon Valley) all connected through Wi-Fi. No other gaming event, or any celebration for that matter, attempted this kind of massive Wi-Fi connection.
Ed Pasion, vice president for Marketing of IP e-Games, said connecting this many PCs wirelessly was a first for the gaming industry. “E-Games has always been at the forefront of revolutionizing the local gaming industry. We have proved that it could be done: running 300 PCs simultaneously, all playing e-Games titles,” Pasion said.
The gaming rigs hosted the freeplay events, online activities and tournaments for all e-Games titles such as RAN Online, CABAL Online, Runes of Magic, Granado Espada and ZX Online. Its leading casual games Audition Dance Battle and MMO first person shooter OP7 also hosted its own tournaments and activities.
In-game items and cash prizes worth hundreds of thousands of pesos, as well as e-Points and merchandise were given away to the tournament champions.
The prizes, however, looked like spare change once e-Games unveiled the Pro Gaming League (PGL) and the million-peso bounty that awaits the champions. The PGL will be the first online game tournament organization that seeks to discover the best cyber athletes in the Philippines. PGL aims to bring together the best players of OP7, and players of Defense of the Ancients or DotA and recognize the ultimate gaming team. The PGL is being handled by X-Play, the casual games division of e-Games.
Aside from the PGL, X-Play also launched Band Master, a music rhythm game developed by Yedang Online and introduced Superstar, the country’s first 3D online videoke. Band Master is similar to popular music band games (like Guitar Hero and Rockband) wherein gamers get to play in a concert-like atmosphere.
Superstar, on the other hand, will be the first virtual platform for those seeking to display their singing talent. Sarah Geronimo has already signed up to be the official endorser of Superstar, and to truly give gamers the chance to be a real Star, the best singer will be part of Sarah’s next concert.
George Royeca, chief operating officer for X-Play said that with these new games and PGL, they aim to bring gaming to the mainstream. “We’re not just talking about getting them to play but also creating the digital spectator sport mindset. It’s fun to get into the game, but it’s also fun to watch it unfold. This will be the future of digital entertainment,” Royeca said.
For its part, e-Games launched Dragonica, its newest casual Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) with Role-Playing Game (RPG) elements and an eight-way, side-scrolling system in full 3D. Dragonica has an easy-to-use interface and gameplay system that will appeal to casual gamers and first-time players of MMO.
Like I said, Domination IV was not only a gaming event, as non-gamers equally had a lot of fun thanks to the side activities and celebrity performances.
Cosplay contests have become a staple of Domination in the past, and once again, anime, movie, game and comic characters came to life through the elaborately detailed outfits of the Cosplayers. From the simple Ran student uniforms, to the “timely” War Machine suit and the enormous MechaGodzilla, everyone wanted to take a picture with their favorite character making these cosplayers celebrities in their own right. Several cosplayers, however, expressed their disappointed with the organizers saying a bit of preferential treatment, or at least a separate entrance, would have gone a long way especially since a lot of them were carrying several big and heavy. They also added that hopefully next year, the Cosplay parade would be done on schedule and not three hours later.
Audiophiles were treated to a diverse collection of music genres courtesy of Parokya ni Edgar, Urbandub, Sugarfree, Kitty Girls, General Luna, Mark Bautista and Rachel Anne Go as well as teen group sensations Pop Girls and XLR8. GMA Talents Bianca King and Starstruck’s Vaness Del Moral also made special guest appearances to keep celebrity hunters occupied.
Finally, there were also a lot of interesting booths, most notably online auction site Winila. Imagine bringing home a PSP for less than P200, and a PS3 for less than a thousand! Too bad I didn’t get the chance to bid as they only had around 10 computers and no one wanted to leave their stations. You could check out their website at winila.com.ph for more details. e-Games also unveiled the Bidshop, the first online auction designed for gamers. Currently offered to RAN Online, Bidshop allows all gamers to bid on specially customized in-game items at the cost of 1 EP (1 EP=1 point). These special in-game items will give additional capabilities to virtual characters and even add to their prestige. Aside from in-game items, Bidshop will also auction off coveted e-Games merchandise, gadgets and more. Other booths I really enjoyed was the one for Axe, Nokia’s Ovi Store as well as the memorabilia shop set up by the e-gamer girls.
IP e-Games also shared the event with beneficiaries of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization that grants the wishes of people who have life-threatening conditions. Three deserving Make-A-Wish Foundation Beneficiaries were given three brand new PCs. E-Games has been granting the wishes of children from Make-A-Wish Foundation since 2007.
Pasion said Domination IV is the biggest gaming event yet for the company. “We are truly grateful that for the past four years, our community continues to grow and support us. This event was truly our way of thanking our 11 million strong gamers for the years they’ve supported IP e-Games.”