This Friday, August 9th, Game On Expo kicks off its three day convention at the Phoenix Convention Center. Entering its fifth year (and third in Downtown Phoenix), Game On Expo plays hosts to a nice amount of guests, vendors, gaming tournaments, and more! Here is everything you need to know for this weekend.
Friday, August 9th | 1:00 PM-9:00 PM
Saturday, August 10th | 10:00 AM-7:00 PM
Sunday, August 11th | 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Where: As mentioned previously, Game On Expo is being held at the Phoenix Convention Center but more specifically, the South Building at the Phoenix Convention Center. The convention center also has a list of items that cannot be brought into the facility (cosplay specific items are further down in the article).
Tickets: Prices are as follow (please note, prices increase on August 9th!)
Full Event Weekend Pass: $47.50 + $6.03 fee charge
Friday Pass: $25.00 + $3.35 fee charge
Saturday Pass: $32.50 + $4.44 fee charge
Sunday Pass: $27.50 + $3.92 fee charge
Kids Ages 3 -12: $10.00 +$2.06
Kids Ages 0 – 2: Free
You can purchase your tickets before the price increase right here.
Parking: There are several options for parking such as the actual convention center parking, Collier Center, Chase Tower, and Jefferson St. Garage. Please keep in mind that the convention center is also playing host to the Europa Games Expo and their is a Phoenix Mercury game on Saturday so parking could be a bit more expensive (or even harder to come by). The Metro Valley Light Rail is always a great alternative as it drops off and picks up on both sides of the South Building (see map from earlier).
Guests: Are you a fan of panels and getting autographs? Well, Game On Expo has a wide array of guests this year. You’ve got a full blown Pokemon reunion, the voice actors for Mario, Peach and Bowser (Charles Martinet, Jen Taylor, and Kenny James) as well as content creators such as Metal Jesus, Reggie Williams, Shady Jay, and Kelsey Lewin. For the full list of guests attending Game On Expo, click here.
What To Do: Wondering what there is to do besides shop at Game On Expo? Well, there is quite a bit actually! Arcade and pinball free play, video game tournaments for games such as NBA Jam and NFL Blitz, open console gaming with various consoles of different eras, the Retro World Championship, Rock Band Karaoke, Pachinko games, and ton more. For the full list of events and programming being offered at Game On Expo, check out the Things To Do page.
Panels: I previously published an article with a few panels I wanted to highlight (which you can read here) but there are a nice amount of panels across all three days covering different topics. Want to learn how Charles Martinet got the role of Mario or test your knowledge on Pokemon? You’ll have a lot of interesting panels to choose from! You can check out the full list of panels right here.
Vendors: Bring a healthy budget with you as awesome businesses such as Zia Records, 1Up Games, Limited Run Games, and a ton will be on site with some cool merchandise. Helpful tip, bring some cash if possible as card readers have known to go down at any busy event! You can check out the full list of vendors as well as a map of the show floor by clicking here.
Food: While the convention center will have its cafe open for business, it is always a recommendation of mine to give yourself a break and get a meal from one of the nearby restaurants. The Taco Ball Cantina, Fired Pie, Tommy Pastrami are all a 3 minute walk from the South Building and are reasonably priced. Other recommendations that are still in the downtown area are Steve’s Greenhouse Grill, Cornish Pasty, and TGI Fridays at Chase Field (you get to sit in an empty Chase Field and have a meal!).
Music: One of my favorite things about Game On Expo is the music performances they have. Music performances are split up between Friday night and Saturday night with the first act going on at 6PM Friday and 6:45PM Saturday. Favorites such as the minibosses and Super Madness will be returning to perform this year but I would like to recommend checking out Fygar on Friday night. For the list of performances, you can check out the music page on the Game On Expo site.
Cosplay: Cosplay is a big part of Game On Expo and encouraged however there are some rules on what is and what isn’t accepted in regards to props at the Phoenix Convention Center. Game On Expo recently published this information which came directly from the Phoenix Convention Center.