Last updated: 13 March 2023
Published on: 26 September 2016
4 MINS READ
Elicia Lee, Founder of GameStart Asia – Southeast Asia’s premier gaming convention – talks about her gaming journey, favourite games and GameStart 2016
Image credit: Elicia Lee
Tell us a bit more about yourself and background – how did you end up in the gaming industry?
Gaming has always been a part of my life. I love it because it takes you to new worlds and experiences – and the best part is you get to enjoy these with friends. So in 2010, when a friend told me about a vacancy at EA Singapore, I jumped at the chance. I joined EA Singapore’s online team, handling content for websites. During my time there, I launched and ran EA Singapore’s e-commerce platform, Origin, for Asia Pacific and found myself in a regional marketing role in the publishing department.
A few years later, I left EA Singapore to set up my own marketing agency, Zombits, with my business partner. Gaming was a specialisation that came naturally to us, and things just grew from there. Then came GameStart Asia.
What are some of your personal favourite games (on any platform) and why?
Some of my all-time favourites are the Monkey Island series and World of Warcraft (WoW) on PC, and Super Mario on Nintendo. I love a good story, and the lore and world that WoW is built around is just amazing! Playing WoW is like coming home – it’s a familiar place with good memories, especially of friends. My latest favourite, though, is Overwatch on PC.
So what inspired you to start your own gaming event?
As an avid gamer, I always wished I could attend a gaming convention like the ones overseas, such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Tokyo Game Show and PAX gaming festivals. So one day, I took a chance on a crazy idea to create a similar event for gamers in Singapore and Southeast Asia – an event that even I (as a gamer) would be excited to attend.
Can you tell us a bit more about the upcoming GameStart 2016? What sets it apart from the previous editions?
This is our third edition of the convention and we’re diversifying our content to include of all types of gaming. We’re also bringing back key content such as cosplay and game showcases by large companies like Bandai Namco Entertainment.
But another key objective of GameStart is to showcase our amazing local talent. So this year, we will have a larger focus on games developed in Singapore through our Founders Base section and Doujin Market – a new section that brings together local artists to showcase and sell their creations.
We’ve always supported e-sports, or competitive gaming, and now that it has exploded into a global phenomenon, e-sports will have a much bigger presence at GameStart 2016. We’re set to host the largest console tournament in Southeast Asia, titled “South East Asia Major” and presented by PlayStation.
Fans of fighting games such as Street Fighter should watch out for top pro-players and personalities at the event. With support from Blizzard, we will also be hosting the Grand Finals for the inaugural Overwatch Champions Singapore tournament. Visitors will also enjoy exclusive offers on games, game consoles and merchandise available only at the event from 7-9 October at the Suntec Singapore Convention Centre.
Every year, GameStart gets bigger and better. Is this a reflection of Singapore's gaming industry?
Our gaming industry is definitely growing. While gamers in Singapore are seasoned and play a variety of games on different platforms, our game development landscape is just getting started. We have some talented developers here in Singapore and each year, I see the quality of local games getting better and better.
What do you hope to achieve for this event?
My wish is for GameStart to become a key gaming event not just in Singapore, but Southeast Asia. It should not just be an occasion for consumers to try out the latest games, but a key industry event that provides networking opportunities and facilitates knowledge sharing talks and sessions.
What are some of your future plans for GameStart?
To continue growing and promoting it as the region’s number one gaming convention! There are also plans for more talks, workshops and learning sessions at the event to add value to the experiences of visitors, gamers and people in the industry.