If you were looking forward to rAge in Cape Town next month, I have bad news for you. The event has been cancelled.
According to owner and senior project manager of rAge, Michael James: “While I was happy with the high level of enthusiasm and excitement with which rAge Cape Town was received in 2016 and was committed to hosting an even better show this year, the reality is that financial and logistical concerns mean that we cannot in good conscience run a rAge event in the Cape that could potentially disappoint our valued gaming community.
“Last year we said that our intention was to improve rAge Cape Town with more games, new technology, and cool things to see, buy and do. Some visitors felt these areas were somewhat lacking in 2016. After much hard work over the last four months we’ve come to a point where there isn’t sufficient financial support and commitment towards the event to make this a reality. In addition, while we’ve been fighting hard behind the scenes to solve unforeseen technical issues in hosting a bigger and better NAG LAN in Cape Town, we’ve hit a brick wall where the only way to make a LAN possible would be with a significant cash investment. We do know that people have been eagerly asking us on social media about the LAN – a clear indication that this is an integral part of the rAge experience. Without a significantly improved LAN offering and other important elements such as eSports and playable code for unreleased games, we don’t feel confident that rAge Cape Town would deliver the awesome show we always strive to put on for our visitors and exhibitors.
“Based on where we are now, making this year’s rAge Cape Town experience as good as Johannesburg, complete with all the elements the expo needs to make it a true rAge experience, isn’t something we can feasibly deliver. We could host something, but not something of the outstanding quality our visitors deserve. The goal was never to make the event bigger than Johannesburg, but to at least match it in overall quality. Not doing an amazing event damages the brand and the community’s belief and trust in our ability to give them the very best experience possible. There are many amazing and daring companies that have committed to Cape Town (and we thank them for their support), but not enough to make a difference.
“Having said that, there are other events happening in Cape Town this year that are also showcasing gaming, technology and other geek stuff, so I appeal to you to support them. Doing so ensures that they and the entire gaming sector will continue to grow and thrive. We’re really sorry we can’t do rAge in Cape Town at this stage. Please also note that you can get a full refund from Computicket if you’ve already bought tickets.”
This is going to hurt people who had plans to avoid travelling to Jhb to see the event in Cape Town instead and I know I was planning on going for this, some other work stuff and part of a mini holiday to meet up with my Cape Town friends. Now this is a major spanner in the works.
It is a brave move to rather cancel instead of having a lacklustre event and like James points out, many people spent a lot of time asking “Was rAge Cape Town 2016 worth it?” whenever I mention that I went. If this means a more focused event in Johannesburg once a year, rather than distributors and publishers splitting their funding and efforts to get code and the like for two events, then it is fine. But logic doesn’t help the hearts of those who only can make rAge if it happens in Cape Town.
See you in October then?
Source: rAge Expo