December 2, 2013 10:30 PM | Lena LeRay
BitSummit MMXIII was a one-day event designed to help Japanese developers by educating them about some of the software tools available to them and by creating an opportunity for them to talk to Western media outlets. Interest boomed in the last few weeks leading up to it, and on March 9th the venue was overcrowded. You would have needed a knife to cut through the excitement, though, and BitSummit is coming back next March. It looks like BitSummit MMXIV won't just be for Japanese indie developers, or just for developers at all, for that matter. And it's moving to a new location big enough to handle its greater scope.
Next year, BitSummit will be held over the course of three days from March 7-9. The first day, a Friday, will be for media only, but the newly added second and third days will be open to the public.
We reported on the indie presence at Tokyo Game Show this year, but we only covered the business days. Word on the street afterwards was that moving the indies to a separate hall with family games for the public days really reduced the potential amount of traffic since there were no major draws there. BitSummit may not have the fame of Tokyo Game Show, but it will be an event where indies are the only draw, and everyone who goes will be eager to see what the developers have to offer. Furthermore, indie developers from outside of Japan are welcome at BitSummit MMXIV, with Owen Wu of Space Qube already stating his intent to go on Twitter.
To accommodate the larger attendance numbers anticipated, BitSummit is moving to the MiyakoMesse convention center. There seems to be very little information about it in English, but according to the Japanese information available, its biggest hall can support up to 5,000 people. The public days of BitSummit MMXIV are slated to have 8 times as much space as BitSummit MMXIII did, with no information yet available about space on the media day.
Thanks to some as-yet-unnamed, "extremely generous sponsors" helping to cover the added costs of enlarging the event, attendance for developers and media both will still be free. Developers, however, are welcome to sponsor the event. Admission price for the public has yet to be determined, but the goal is for the cost to be "very affordable for game fans to attend BitSummit and see [the] great indie games and developers."
BitSummit's official web site is currently undergoing a redesign, complete with a new mascot, and has been replaced with basic details for the time being. When the new site goes live in late December, it will have full details on registration, new features, special events, and the BitSummit mission. Between then and March, more details regarding things like guest speakers and musical performances will be revealed. If you prefer to keep abreast of things on social media, BitSummit also has a Twitter account and a Facebook page.