Tokyo Game Development Events

This post is part of a collection on Games.

There are several regular events in Tokyo for game developers, some happening as often as every week and some just annually.

Note 2023-11-09: I can't really keep this up to date any more, but events have mostly returned to pre-pandemic status. In particular, Tokyo Indies continues and I help run it. For other events, see the GameMakers calendar.

Note: As of 2022-07-22, most of these events have been suspended for the pandemic; some of the annual ones may be held, but everything is unpredictable. The main event still being held regularly is Indies Collection, an online event run by asobu, typically on the second Tuesday of the month. Check the asobu Twitter for updates and schedule information. Also see the GameMakers calendar for information on more events.

This information was all current as of 2019-03-22.

Otaru is a weekly drinkup Thursday nights in Nakameguro. The shop's a little hard to find, so ask on Twitter or somewhere if you're interested in going.

Picotachi is a monthly event at Pico Pico Cafe in Kichijouji that's not just for game developers but attracts a lot of them anyway. It's usually on Saturday evenings.

Tokyo Indies is a monthly meetup on Tuesdays at Fab Cafe in Shibuya.

Digital Games Expo is an annual doujin-oriented game event that's been going on for a number of years, usually held in November in Akihabara.

Tokyo Sandbox, previously known as Tokyo Indie Fest, is held every year in the spring in Akihabara.

Pixel Art Park is held every year in the fall or winter in 3331 Arts Chiyoda near Akihabara. While as the name indicates it's mainly an art event there's several games exhibited every time too.

The Tokyo Game Show is the biggest show of the year, taking place over a weekend in September at Makuhari Messe. Compared to other events in this list TGS is much more focused on large companies.

BitSummit is the major game event in Japan that's not set in Tokyo, taking place in Kyoto each year in the spring or summer. The first BitSummit was in 2012.

Besides the game-specific events a lot of games are naturally distributed at Comiket, which is in August and December. The games are usually all on the first or last day, you'll need to check ahead to find out which. Ψ