A Blackpool businessman is turning Japanese ready to welcome thousands of video games fans to the town.
Andy Brown, founder and managing director of Replay Events has secured a deal with Japanese partner, Japanarama to bring a new twist to Play Expo Blackpool at the Norcalympia Exhibition Centre at Norbreck Castle, North Shore.
The annual event attracts computer and console games fans from across the North West and is one of a series run by Andy’s team in such places as Manchester, London and Glasgow.
This time round, as well as the thousands of retro consoles and arcade games to play on, there will be a range of never-before-seen Japanese arcade cabinets.
They will have their own area within the arcade zone at the arena and will include such games as Darius Burst EX, Taiko No Tatsujin 14, Project Diva and Ju Beat.
While the bulk of the games will be vintage ones, there will also be the latest titles such as Fortnite, and classics such as Minecraft.
There will be head to head and group gaming competitions and a cosplay event where people dress up as their favourite game or comicbook characters. The evnt will also feature board games and stalls of games, equipment and memorabilia.
And there will be a chance to see talks by developers Magnetic Fields and Playtonic Games who are releasing Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair days before the event.
Fans can also quiz father and son game developers Andrew and Rob Hewson, associated between them with games such as Nebulus, Exolon, Pinball Dreams, LEGO Lord of the Rings, LEGO Batman 3 and Higher Sentinel.
Andy said the business evolved from his childhood love of the arcade games in Blackpool and the realisation that many others wanted to relive those halcyon days by playing retro games, pinball and board games.
Andy said: “Our expo really is an extravaganza when it comes to retro gaming, allowing visitors to relive the joy they originally gained from playing games they may no longer own, but which hold special memories for them.
“There is nothing quite like watching visitors get into what we call the ‘nostalgia zone’ – a state of mind that is totally focused on a combination of past and present and one filled with emotion and joy in equal measure.
"When we see folk transfixed on a game that was once an old favourite, with a certain, unique expression on their face, we know they have reached the gaming world’s version of Nirvana.”
The event runs on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13.