Nearly every convention has returned in some capacity this year and Game On Expo was one of the last ones to finally welcome fans back this past weekend. Game On Expo really pushed to be known as a gaming AND anime convention (it’s in their tagline “The Southwest’s premiere gaming and anime event“) by bringing a nice sized amount of voice talent from various popular games and anime. There is a lack of star power that Arizona anime conventions bring (which is why I also think we are seeing two new anime cons this year in Phoenix) but that’s a story for another time. However, it’s nice to see Game On Expo has a focus on both gaming and anime.
I attended all day Saturday and a few hours on Sunday and had a pretty good time. The crowds were out in full force as there were moments on Saturday where it was just hard to shop the various artist tables and vendors. The convention made use of the entire South Building at the Phoenix Convention Center, expanding into the previously unused portion of the building closest to Jefferson St (once home to Keen Halloween, RIP). This is where the music stage, as well as all the console gaming and tournaments were moved to. Didn’t want to shop or game or even watch music performances? Game On added more to do with laser tag, a maid cafe, and even an art exhibit. For casual con goers, it might not have been enough to attend all three days but it’s for sure a convention to check out at least one day.
Game On Expo isn’t on the level of a PAX but it is for sure becoming an event that can potentially rival Portland Retro Gaming Expo or even MAG Fest.