Gamescom is bringing lots of fresh ideas and innovation to the gaming industry, and the group behind a future mega-arcade and eSports center has been making rounds spreading word of their big vision: GameOn Berlin.
Naturally, we're super interested in such a vision - especially since ticket pre-purchasers have a say in everything from the brand of soft drinks available to the games supported. We had a chance to sit with Jerry Salem, one of the brains behind the scenes for GameOn, and he was kind enough to indulge us by answering some questions about the project. Let's get to it!
CURSE: What kinds of different 'zones' are going to be available? We've heard talk of classic machines, eSports arenas, LAN centers, and more - it sounds like the perfect storm of gaming.
Best of all, this will be a 'pay one price, type deal, where for the admission fee you can stay and play as long as you like! We will have regular and VIP pricing, so that for the most popular games the VIPs will be able to have a much shorter line to wait on if they like.
In addition we plan a full international food court with great food and drinks. At night, we are looking into changing the restaurant into a club with great music and dancing, so in addition to being an awesome gaming center it will be a great club as well.
GO: This is for gamers by gamers, we want the gaming community to decide as much as possible what their dream center will be and then to realize it for them. As much as possible, we want and need gamers to have input and fund this on a micro scale so it is as authentic and 'for the people' as possible. We will have everything running, and will try to make it 24 hours, and yet safe and exciting for everyone. We hope to have game battles in the morning hours which we call 'Rumble in the Night' where gamers can come and have an absolute blast, even very late at night.
People will be able to go into different zones, wander around, interact with others or play on their own. We will have a digital system where no one can 'hog' any popular machines, but still be able to play as they wish.
GO: We are working with major game developers to have great interactive events. We plan on it being the main gaming venue in Berlin, both for locals and tourists, and expect it to be very much a place where large, popular gaming events will be held.
CURSE: Your main source of investment is crowdfunding - has this helped you to get to know the industry and consumer needs better?
GO: Crowdfunding will ensure that gamers, and not impersonal corporations, will decide what we will be about and do. We have voting on our website, allowing gamers to decide everything. I believe this is the first time that anyone will actually implement what the gaming community wants rather than imposing the company's needs on them. This gets us into the heart of the gaming industry and matches up consumers wants with what is available. Win-win situation for everyone. We will be funded by people purchasing tickets in advance. The sooner you buy, the sooner you play as it's a first come first served basis and everyone will want to be there when it opens.
GO: People will be able to get credits and also commissions for advance sales they bring in. This encourages everyone to be a part of the scene.
GO: We are looking at a planned date of mid-October 2013. We want it to be ready for the cooler months when people will be indoors more.
We will have a lot of surprises when we open and look forward to it being the gaming event of the year. Berlin has never seen anything like this and this will be the biggest gaming center in Germany - around 10,000 square meters in the heart of Berlin.
GO: Without a doubt my favorite feature is the interactive dome systems where you will literally BE in the center of the action with the moving platform as you move through the game, which is something the general public has not been able to do. Personally I will like the early pinball games which have not been seen for years and will be very cool to play.
GameOn will be situated in the heart of Berlin, Germany. Head to http://gameon.ag to check out all that this mega-center of the future will have to offer - very shortly you'll be able to pre-order tickets, vote, and refer your friends. Be sure to follow and like them on Twitter and Facebook to stay on top of the project's progress!
Don't miss our Gamescom 2012 News Center sponsored by Guardians of Middle-Earth - keep checking back here and over at FPS General, as we'll be updating throughout the entire event with huge announcements, great new features from the development teams themselves, and more!