Seven million games consoles. Four hundred million DVDs and Blu-rays. Sixty eight thousand square metres of hair. Seventy five and a half billion miles of network cable. If you were to tie all of the threads of twine we use to make Eurogamer T-shirts together end to end in a rope, it would stretch to the moon and back, and would be strong enough to fire an arrow made out of the sun through the heart of Pluto and discover life in Alpha Centauri.
If we had the foresight to count the things that go into the Eurogamer Expo, those are the sorts of statistics we might be able to promote in our marketing material. Unfortunately we were too busy signing top game developers, drawing pictures of the Eurogamer guy smashing up London and recording potentially libellous podcasts to do that, so all of the above stats are made up.
What is definitely true is that the 2010 Eurogamer Expo is the biggest show we've ever put on - 20,000 people over three days at Earls Court - and is host to the best line-up of games and developers we've ever had the pleasure to borrow and invite. If you're heading down on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, here's what you can expect to find.
|11.30||Danny Leaver & John Beech (Media Molecule) LittleBigPlanet 2|
|12.00||Peter Molyneux (Creative Director, Microsoft Game Studios) Fable III||Matt Southern (Evolution Studios) MotorStorm Apocalypse|
|13.00||Steven Ter Heide (Guerrilla Games) Killzone 3||Tameem Antoniades (Ninja Theory) Enslaved|
|13.30||Jonathan Jacques Belletete (Art Director, Eidos Montreal) Deus Ex: Human Revolution|
|14.00||Yuji Naka (Prope) Ivy the Kiwi?||Tomasz Gop & Marek Ziemak (CD Projekt) The Witcher 2|
|14.30||Darren Bridges & Ken Schramm (Sucker Punch) inFamous 2|
|15.30||Matt Findley & Maxx Kaufman (inXile) Hunted: The Demon's Forge||Matt Findley & Maxx Kaufman (inXile) Hunted: The Demon's Forge||Mike Simpson (Creative Assembly) Shogun II: Total War|
|17.00||Tim Willits (id Software) RAGE||Tim Willits (id Software) RAGE||Tim Willits (id Software) RAGE|
At the first Eurogamer Expo we had a lovely little room where we invited some of our friends in development and recruitment to speak to attendees about their plans and projects. Last year we cranked it up and were delighted when some of our favourite developers from the likes of Quantic Dream, Valve and Splash Damage flew over and showed their games (David Cage didn't fly, incidentally - he just clicked his heels together three times).
This year we think we've taken it to another level entirely. Friday's session schedule kicks off with the inimitable Peter Molyneux from Lionhead talking about the experience of building the Fable series and what makes Fable III - due out later this month - worth your attention.
Molyneux is followed by Eidos Montreal, over from Canada to introduce you to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which you won't be able to play until early 2011, before Sucker Punch takes the stage to show inFAMOUS 2. We've been given a few hints about what's in store and we're pretty excited. We don't even know exactly when in 2011 inFAMOUS 2 will come out, so we're thrilled to have it at the Expo so early on in its development.
Bethesda Softworks has always been a big supporter of the Expo and 2010 is no exception. Last year Splash Damage introduced you to Brink - this year it's playable on the show floor - but in 2010 inXile is presenting the intriguing Hunted: The Demon's Forge, a third-person action role-player with plenty of pedigree, in a presentation you can catch at 3.30pm on Friday and Saturday.
One of our personal highlights though is at 5pm each day - id Software's creative director Tim Willits is showing RAGE, the first new IP from the Dallas-based first-person shooter specialist in over a decade. The technology is incredible. It's also fair to say that without Willits Eurogamer might not even exist - many of the guys who founded Eurogamer got into this because of our love of Quake and other Quake Engine games like Counter-Strike.
It doesn't slow down over the weekend either. Saturday begins with Media Molecule showing LittleBigPlanet 2 before Guerrilla Games takes over to show off Killzone 3 - neither due out until 2011. After that Sonic's dad Yuji Naka is on before inXile and id Software again. Sunday closes the show with presentations of MotorStorm Apocalypse, Enslaved, The Witcher 2, Shogun II: Total War and, of course, the third showing of RAGE.
When we started the Expo we did it because we were sick of queuing for four hours at trade shows to play that one game we wanted to play - or, worse, to watch a video of that one game we wanted to play. Our goal was to have as many of the games we wanted to play as possible in one place, and for everyone who turns up to be able to get time with the one they want.
This year's line-up should give you plenty to work with. Microsoft has brought Kinect and four of its launch titles, not to mention Gears of War 3's multiplayer Beast mode and a series of demos from Fable III. Sony is here with Killzone 3, LittleBigPlanet 2, MotorStorm Apocalypse, Gran Turismo 5 and a raft of 3D and Move titles. Nintendo has Donkey Kong Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn and the new Professor Layton.
Third parties are keen to get in on the act too. Bethesda's brought Brink - one of the stars of last year's Expo even though it wasn't on the show floor - so you can finally play it, and you can also play Hunted and - shiver - Fallout: New Vegas several weeks ahead of its release.
Electronic Arts has brought Dead Space 2, Dragon Age II, Medal of Honor, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and even FIFA 11 - released today. Konami's here with Castlevania and Pro Evolution Soccer 2011, SEGA's brought Vanquish, Rock Band 3 is playable from MTV (apologies in advance for our vocals), and Ellie's very excited about Just Dance 2. Good thing it's also playable at the Expo then.
It's not just the big boys either. The Indie Games Arcade has brought us the likes of Joe Danger and, er, War Twat in the past. This year's unsung heroes include Frozen Synapse, the latest game from Rolando developer HandCircus, Swimming Under Clouds and Scoregasm.
You can even get a job. The GamesIndustry.biz Career Fair brings you face to face with developers and universities who can advise you on how to find work in the industry - with the likes of Creative Assembly, Crytek, Rare, SEGA and Sports Interactive on hand to chat. There are also numerous meet-ups at or around the Expo. You could meet our friends at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, for instance.
While you're on the floor, you should also keep an eye out for the Challenge Zone, where you can compete to win prizes in games like FIFA 11, Gran Turismo 5, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and the imperious Trials HD. Look out for Eurogamer staffers slacking off and trying to assert their skills in-between shouting into walkie-talkies and crying in the break room.
Whatever you end up doing, if you're coming to the Expo then we hope you have a great time. If you need help with something just grab one of our staff or helpers - we'll be in the blue Expo shirts with STAFF on the back - and if you're a fan of the website too then why not pop along to the Ask Eurogamer panel on Saturday at 4pm when myself, deputy editor Ellie Gibson and our managing director Rupert Loman will be answering questions about the Expo, Eurogamer, games journalism and, well, anything decent.
Thanks so much for your support and make sure you let us know what you like and don't like about the Expo so we can make it even bigger and better next time. Expo!
For a complete rundown of what's happening and what you can play and see at the Eurogamer Expo, check out the Eurogamer Expo website or pick up the show guide.