Saboten Con 2022 just ended but already attendees are talking about next year as there are some changes coming to Arizona’s largest anime convention. First up is SaboSlam, a gaming expansion of Saboten. This event will be held the same weekend as Saboten Con 2023 (presumably Labor Day weekend again) however it will be located at the Renaissance Hotel, which is a quick walk from the Sheraton Hotel. Like mentioned earlier, this will be specific to gaming and will also have vendors and artists in line with what SaboSlam represents. According to the official announcement from Facebook:
“SaboSlam™ is the long-awaited expansion of Saboten Con’s gaming department. Our 5-year goal was to expand our gaming to its own venue to help it have more space and the ability to grow as its attendance grew. With the growth of Saboten Con overall it’s now time to give gaming Its own space.
SaboSlam™ will keep its focus as a welcoming gaming environment to help the most novice players enter the gaming fun to the hard-core gamer who is looking for top-tier tournaments. SaboSlam™ will have its own curated vendors and artist at the show focused solely on gaming, but this will not be a vendor hall show. We will stay true to our overall design of gaming to give an experience to all levels of gamers to game and have fun.
We are happy to announce that SaboSlam™ will be at the Phoenix Renaissance starting in 2023!”
This is unconfirmed but I have heard that the Saboten Con badge will include entry to SaboSlam however, a separate badge will be sold specific to SaboSlam that won’t include entry into Saboten Con. Again, unconfirmed but will share that info if/when it is announced. Sounds like this could be some competition for Game On Expo which typically takes place a month before Saboten Con.
In other news, a few artist alley exhibitors informed me some changes where happening for next year. There will be artists on the 2nd floor of Sheraton for Saboten Con but the normal vendor hall will have “premium” artist spots that will still be in the mix among the exhibitors in the vendor hall. Both the SaboSlam and artists news is my guess an attempt to break up the crowding that has been happening the last two years. The biggest complain I saw this year was the elevators but am I am not entirely sure how much this helps but we’ll see!