Unprecedented Growth, Record Number of International Game Developers, and a Marriage Proposal.

This place is going to blow! The Coca Cola Dome was bursting at the seams this past weekend with the latest video gaming and entertainment technology, as well as 26,594 rAge expo visitors! Now in its 9th year, rAge, sponsored by Samsung, enjoyed an unprecedented turnout, increasing feet through the door by just over 29% from 2010.

“The explosive growth we have experienced with rAge is really a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire video gaming community and its media. Driven by passion, the community has unwaveringly cultivated the gaming culture in South Africa to the massive beast that it is today; and we are proud to say that rAge is an integral part of this,” says Michael James, Senior Project Manager on rAge.

Bennie Budler, Product Manager: IT Products at Samsung Electronics South Africa added, “We at Samsung were very proud to be associated with the rAge expo this year. It was a fantastic event to showcase all of our latest and greatest products. We would just like to thank all the people involved that made it such a huge success and we can’t wait for the 2012 event.”

While visitors got their fill of mind-blowing gaming such as Darkness II and Battlefield 3 and many more seen for the first time at rAge, exhibitors also enjoyed the mass of tech-heads that stampeded the Dome over the 3-day period from 30 September – 02 October.

“This year’s rAge was a great success for Megarom as it allowed us the chance to showcase our top, up and coming titles for the end of year and beyond. Megarom has attended every show since its inception, we’ve seen it grow bigger each year and this year was no exception. The show is of great value to Megarom and we’re excited to see what the next rAge will bring after 10 years running,” commented Devon Stanton, PR & Promotions Manager, Megarom.

Besides the games, visitors managed to stock up on cutting-edge components for their next pc/console upgrade and indulge in gaming culture favourites such as the Legion Ink Cosplay Competition hosting a number of anime characters and, of course, Lara Crofts in all shapes and sizes.

This year saw a strong game developer contingent with international developers from Ghost Recon, Ubisoft and Rocksteady Studios revealing the inner workings of some of this year’s most anticipated games, such as Tomb Raider, Hitman and Batman: Arkham City.

“rAge 2011 was a huge success with massive foot traffic. I am sure it had catered for the most gamers in the history of this show and a strong media contingency was felt. Nu Metro’s Batman stand was a certain hit with the public and we created excellent word of mouth for the upcoming game Batman: Arkham City!” says Stefan Rheeder, Marketing Manager: Nu Metro Interactive.

Game.Dev, a local game development support site brought in our local developers to help encourage, inspire and channel our local talent to further build the local game development industry that has enjoyed steady growth in the past decade. Local game development students also had their wares on display courtesy of Learn 3D.

“The expo is by far our main marketing drive with the diversity of its attendees matching all the courses we offer, from 2D animation to 3D and games development, full-time and part-time. The organizer’s team is a well-trained and friendly one, allowing every year’s event to flow smoothly. No wonder that records are broken every consecutive year on attendance numbers, exhibitors and of course NAG LAN seats!” adds Gustavo Edward de Mûelenaere Corrêa, owner of Learn 3D.

The anticipation for the year’s official highlight on the gaming calendar was tangible as gamers participating in the NAG LAN @ rAge started lining up from 02:00 on Friday morning. The NAG LAN @ rAge kept 2,196 gamers engaged in fierce virtual battle for over 53 hours with various league competitions underway which identified the best players across the country in games such as Call of Duty Black Ops, Counterstrike and Star Craft. The NAG Gaming League (NGL) held their Call of Duty Black Ops finals on Sunday morning; where the two top clans, KK and vTL battled it out for the top honours of NGL rAge Champions. Gamers participating in the NGL tournament were eligible to win over R95,000 in prizes sponsored by Incredible Connection and Plantronics. The Telkom Do Gaming League (DGL) gave away R160,000 worth of prizes in their LAN Championships. Gamers from the DGL 2011 League competed in Call of Duty 4, Starcraft 2, FIFA 11, and Counter-Strike 1.6 over the course of the weekend.

“As always media interest was more than peaked and this year rAge is proud to have attracted attention from international press, verifying its position in the global gaming sphere. Looking back, it often feels surreal to realise the role rAge plays within the South African gaming culture. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks for the support received from our sponsors, exhibitors and fellow gamers, without whom rAge would not have evolved into the institution it is today,” concludes Michael James, Senior Project Manager at rAge. “Oh, and congrats to the guy who proposed to his girlfriend in the LAN!”

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