Although we hadn’t posted about WTF IGC recently, we were just as excited as everyone else about attending the event that could define gaming in India. So, we woke up today energized to check out the surprise WTF had arranged for us. In hindsight, shock may have been the right word there.
Starting at the beginning, getting to Noida isn’t easy. Getting to Greater Noida is even a greater (sic) challenge. Armed with an iPad for navigation, you would think getting directions would be a cinch. That was until we reached Noida and realized that the WTF pages weren’t iPad friendly. But hey, that’s a minor hassle — we decided to check out Google Maps for the address. So we pasted the address from the WTF site on to Google maps and hey, wait — there is no sector BZP in Greater Noida? We couldn’t let a simple thing like that keep us down. We asked for directions, went round in circles, and finally made it there. It was going to be worth it after all!
Except it wasn’t.
As we entered the complex, we did feel the potential of what this could be. It really is what the Ayatti-Caparo group promises it to be. Even with the issues getting there, we didn’t feel we would be let down. Yet.
We saw a queue up front which, we assumed, was for tickets for the event. We parked our car and went over to the queue. A few kids (I am allowed to call them kids, having passed the 30-year mark) in the queue looked disappointed — that looked odd given how this was the most anticipated gaming event of the year. We found out then that they had been waiting there since 10AM and the organizers were still setting up equipment (at 4PM!).
One disappointed fan told us: “We have been hanging around here since 10AM, and now they are telling us that they are waiting for Honey Singh — who the hell wants to listen to Honey Singh, this is a gaming event!”. His friend (kids are cute that way) consoled him saying: “Dude, don’t be disheartened — you have been waiting for four years for a gaming event. We will be back tomorrow.” At this point, I turned around to look at the stage — it was still being set up: if I was the organizer, I wouldn’t blame Honey Singh for the delay. I suspect this was just something an uninformed volunteer told our disappointed fan.
Another disappointed fan with a group of friends told us that they had been waiting since 10AM and they had not been let in by the guard for about two hours. Being dedicated gamers, they took it in their stride and waited around under the hot scorching sun for the event that was promised to them (it isn’t like you can just hop over across the road to an air-conditioned mall to while away your time). We asked the group if they were planning to come back tomorrow and there was a resounding no across the group. “We aren’t planning on coming back, not after this.”
On the bright side, we did see refunds processing start around 4:15pm. We left in another 15 mins but we expect that most refunds would be processed during the evening.
This should serve as a good learning experience for WTF. We are not event managers ourselves, but we can imagine the multitude of things that can go wrong with an event like this. WTF has probably done a lot of similar (but non-gaming) events in the past but getting this right in the next two days is critical to their survival. The Metallica gig cancellation in Gurgaon cost DNA Networks a lot in terms of future prospects. IGC being a failure is equally epic in its proportions given how gamers have viral power on social media. Future events can, and will, be impacted if WTF fails to use the next two days to make this event a success.
Did you go to IGC today? Let us know what your experiences were like. If you are going tomorrow, be sure to let us know on our Facebook page how it went!
UPDATE: We promised you pics from the event, so here they are