After almost two years of hiatus, the great live events finally start again. In strict compliance with health protocols aimed at containing the spread of the international health crisis, the gates of Milan Rho Fiera they are ready to welcome an unprecedented event. For the first time, the videogame digital imagery of Milan Games Week meets the “analogical” suggestions of the Cartoomics comic universes: the result is Milan Game Weeks & Cartoomics “As One”, scheduled for the next 12, 13 and 14 November 2021 .
With the presale of tickets for the event open a few weeks ago, fans of pop culture, eSports, cosplay, video games, anime, manga, comics and board games prepare to meet authors, developers and many special guests. In view of the opening of the gates of the Milanese event, we had the opportunity to converse with Domenico Romano, CEO of Fandango Club, organizer of Milan Games Week & Cartoomics with Milan fair. Here’s what he told us about this new adventure!
Milan Games Week + Cartoomics!
Everyeye: Thanks to the notable progress made with the vaccination campaign and the establishment of the Green Pass, we are finally able to organize great events in Italy too.We are sure that many fans are looking forward to experiencing the world of video games and comics on a single occasion that can bring together authors, developers and the public. And for the first time, Milan will host a joint edition of Milan Games Week and Cartoomics: tell us about this choice. What reasons led you to combine the two manifestations?
Domenico Romano: The project is simple and challenging at the same time. We are aware that you have to start from the contents, the stories and the experiences of the visitor. The format in which these stories are told can be a video game, a comic, a book or a film. In a world that mixes more and more atoms and bits, we put pop culture at the center. Milan Games Week and Cartoomics will increasingly be the event that celebrates pop culture and the interests of an entire generation.
Everyeye: The organizational challenges proposed by an event of this magnitude are considerable even in normal conditions, we can only imagine what it means to manage every detail with the aim of respecting the protocols imposed by the Covid emergency. Can you tell us something behind the scenes of Milan Games Week & Cartoomics “As One” from this point of view? From the most macroscopic elements, such as the management of entry flows, to guaranteeing access to the dressing rooms for the cosplayers who will compete at the fair, what were the most difficult challenges and how did you face them?
Domenico Romano: With a partner like Fiera Milano, even an impossible mission becomes possible. The pavilions will be absolutely safe and the access criteria will allow all visitors to experience all the contents of the event with lightness and involvement. For the first time, we asked our visitors to express a (non-binding) preference for entry, to try to manage the flow in the best way. The areas will be designed to allow the right distance, without excluding the involvement necessary to live an experience in pure Games Week and Cartoomics style.
Everyeye: In 2019, Cartoomics alone had welcomed over 100,000 visitors. Given the peculiar current context, what kind of influx do you expect for the first edition of Milan Games Week & Cartoomics “As One”?
Domenico Romano:Admissions this year will be limited, just to allow everyone to participate in total safety. We will open our doors to around 70,000 visitors and I must say that we are delighted with the feedback from our fans. The tens of thousands of tickets sold after only two weeks of opening the ticket office show us all their love. The numbers are extraordinary, the speed of sale of the accesses is twenty times higher than the 2019 edition.
Everyeye: The presale of tickets for the event has been open for a few weeks and provides for various forms of participation. Can you tell us a little more about the considerations that convinced you to introduce a “plus” ticket format, which allows you to skip the queue at the entrance and the queues at the stands?
Domenico Romano:The Plus ticket is a new way to experience the event in an even more engaging way. In detail The Plus day ticket entitles you to many benefits: skip the line at the entrance, dedicated lines in the most popular areas and a CHILI gift card worth € 20.
The contents: from videogames to comics
Everyeye: The poster created by the illustrator Matteo De Longis perfectly represents the union between the two “analogical” and digital souls of the new incarnation of the event. What was the reaction of the insiders to the announcement of a joint event capable of bringing both the world of comics and video games to the stage? Have publishers, publishers, authors, exhibitors reacted positively to the change of direction undertaken by Milan Games Week and Cartoomics?
Domenico Romano:The first feedbacks are extremely positive. Everyone focused on the great opportunity to unite worlds of enthusiasts around a single event. We will all create a unique experience together for sure!
Everyeye: Between tournaments, eSports competitions, cosplay contests, gameplay presentation and the organization of shows, panels and interviews dedicated to the world of anime, comics, manga and video games, the Milan Games Week & Cartoomics “As One” program promises to be intense . Can you anticipate some details? Which guests or in-depth sessions are you most satisfied with being able to host?
Domenico Romano:There are many news, all aimed at making the visitor live a unique experience! We want everyone to have fun and to interact with each other and with the contents!
There Gaming Zone equipped by Gamestop will be the “beating” heart of pavilion 12. An immense area of over 2,500 square meters created by Milan Games Week with the support of Gamestop which will offer uninterrupted hours of gameplay to all visitors thanks to over 300 game stations with all the platforms and all the news on the market. L’Intel Esportshow it will be a jewel set within the Milan Games Week. The stage will be animated by the main tournament organizers, by the teams of the Italian and international eSport scene and by many, many guests on the two stages and in the large exhibition area and in competitions.
The PG Nationals Rainbow Six Siege Tournament Finals, the Tormenta League Of Legends Tournament Finals, The Valorant and Fortnite Tournament with the Gillette Bomber Cup, and also an exceptional women’s tournament organized in collaboration with McDonald’s and the Machete music show Crew. The final of the Italian Rocket Championship tournament and the eSerie A Tim championship with showmatch activities. These are just some of the events in this area. L’Indie Dungeon instead it will be the area – created in collaboration with IIDEA, the trade association of the video game industry in Italy – where the public will be able to meet dozens of independent developers.
On the Main Stage a rich program will unfold, conducted by two exceptional presenters. Bryan Ronzani, radio voice, super videogame expert, beloved face of the web will be the host of all moments dedicated to gaming. Giorgia Vecchini, multifaceted presenter, voice talent, cosplayer and great pop culture expert will be the host of all Cartoomics shows and contests dedicated to cosplayers. Even this year, Radio 105 it will animate the central stage of the event with its load of energy and will be the official radio of the event.
For three days of exceptional guests and unmissable musical shows, they will be with us to conduct the live broadcasts from Milan Games Week & Cartoomics: Diletta Leotta with Daniele Battaglia, Fabiola and Dario Spada, Edoardo Mecca, Dario Micolani and Moko. The appeal is also answered by Cosplay Ground: cosplay are the pulsating and colorful soul of the event. Fans will be able to find a dedicated area with dressing rooms, activities and the desk to register for the scheduled competitions.
More Arcade Universe, with over thirty game stations and the brand new “Sega Mega Drive” table, a special event for the 60th anniversary of Diabolik, Artist Alley and much more! And many other news that you will discover day after day! Don’t let me spoil too much!
Everyeye: We imagine that the influx of foreign guests has been made complex by the international health crisis. In any case, will you have the opportunity to welcome authors, illustrators and developers from abroad or should the public expect an event with an eye in particular to our local creative realities?
Domenico Romano: The language of comics and video games is international and multicultural, we will try in every way to give space and to host cultures and people from all over the world, always respecting the regulations in force.
Atoms and bits
Everyeye: Milan Games Week & Cartoomics 2021 will not only be an event in attendance, but will also retain a digital side. Through the YouTube channel of Games Week Milano it will in fact be possible to follow the events expected on the central stage, as well as tournaments, eSoprt and cosplay competitions, as well as moments of in-depth analysis and shows. Will you publish a full schedule of programming?
Domenico Romano: I can only tell you: STAY TUNED! In a few days the entire events and streaming program will be published. Which will be enriched day after day and also during the event.
Everyeye: Between Radio 105. Corriere dello Sport, Tuttosport, GameStop and CHILI, there will be many partners of Milan Games Week & Cartoomics “As One”. What added value do you hope they can offer to the event?
Domenico Romano: The protagonists, the messages and the energy of Milan Games Week & Cartoomics must be spread in every atom and in every bit. With our partners we are sure to be able to share the stories that will come to life from 12-14 November at Fiera Milano Rho with anyone who has the curiosity and the desire to “feed” on pop culture.