For four days every summer FAN EXPO Canada takes over the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to celebrate all things pop culture, film, and video games. From comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming it’s the largest event of its kind in Canada, and one of the biggest in the world. This year was special, marking a full return of the event after the COVID-19 pandemic saw it either cancelled, or scaled back for public safety. It’s made a roaring comeback, with every square foot of the space packed with amazing displays and excited fans.
As always, the video game industry has a huge presence at the show. Many major publishers from Activision to Ubisoft were represented around the convention, with some boasting the biggest booths in the entire event. Although things looked a little different this year with fewer playable demos and console manufactures, there was still plenty to see and do for gaming fans.
Let’s take a tour of all the best gaming related booths I experienced at FAN EXPO Canada 2022:
Ubisoft Canada’s booth celebrates 15-years of Assassin’s Creed
If you are an Assassin’s Creed fan, you’ll really appreciate Ubisoft Canada’s booth, it’s a massive homage to the series. The publisher is celebrating the franchise’s 15-year anniversary with a special exhibit featuring memorabilia from all the games. This is your chance to get up close and personal with some of the series’ most iconic items, including Ezio Auditore da Firenze’s hidden blade.
Along with the artifacts, there were stunning collector statues and original artwork up for grabs, through an exclusive show floor contest. There were also gaming kiosks running next-gen versions of Assassin’s Creed on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
The booth also had a neat “photo op” area with three life-sized replicas of Bayek of Siwa, Arno Dorian, and Connor Kenway that you could strike your best pose with. If you are new to Assassin’s Creed, or are looking to relive the epic adventures Best Buy has a wide selection of titles from the series:
Along with all the excitement surrounding Assassin’s Creed anniversary, Ubisoft Forward is coming up on Saturday, September 10th, 2022 don’t forget to tune in!
Nintendo Canada’s Splatoon 3 experience
To celebrate the arrival of Splatoon 3 on the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Canada hosted a cool photo-op and kids activity centre. Fans young and old could strike a pose in the midst of an intense Splatlands battle! You could also show off your artistic skills by colouring in some iconic Splatoon characters. My personal favourite was the bright neon Octo-crowns fans could don to really spice up your photo op.
Nearby, you could also “check-in” via a QR code and redeem “My Nintendo” points as a thanks for visiting the booth. Splatoon 3 will be arriving this September, and you can pre-order your copy at Best Buy today:
Buffer Festival at FAN EXPO Canada
Buffer Festival was present at the show for the first time in FAN EXPO history. It was a massive celebration of online video content and the creators who make it. Fans could meet some of their favourite YouTubers, watch exclusive screenings and panels, and participate in fun activities.
Test the latest gear at the Best Buy Creator Zone and win
Best Buy hosted its own creator zone within Buffer Festival’s area at FAN EXPO. It gave content creators the opportunity to try out the latest equipment and meet other artists. Along with all the activities and inspiration, Best Buy is also hosting a contest to help you jump start your creative career; check out all the details and good luck!
Bandai Namco’s booth
The Japanese video game giant had a massive booth on the show floor, with plenty of merchandise on display. Fans could pick up some sweet swag, including t-shirts, nano blocks figures and more featuring their favourite characters. The booth was geared more toward workshops and builds rather than game demos. There was some very cool workshops that would walk you through how to build your own RX-78-2 Gundam statue or Dragon Ball Z‘s Goku. The best part, when you finished the build, it was yours to keep.
In terms of gaming, there was plenty of familiar IPs like Sonic, Pokemon, Crash Bandicoot and of course, Pac-Man himself! The iconic yellow legend was represented all over the booth. He was front and centre with a massive, 51,300 piece nano block display being a key showpiece. If you are looking for that classic Pac-Man experience with a twist, Pac-Man World Re-Pac was just released and available now.
A panel with the Canadian developers behind Call of Duty
Activision hosted a special panel with Canadian developers who have worked on the Call of Duty series. The panel featured Etienne Pouliot and Marc-Alexandre Milt from Beenox. Along with Richard Carrillo and Thiago Larenas Faria from Sledgehammer Games in Toronto.
The developers discussed how they got their start in the industry, working on such a high-profile franchise. They also shared the challenges and rewards around making games that are enjoyed by millions across the globe. It was a fascinating look into what goes into making one of the biggest gaming franchises on the planet.
One of the most popular booths at FAN EXPO Canada was the Genshin Impact cosplay photo experience. Everyday of the show thousands of fans would lineup to take a photo with Genshin Impact cosplayers. They also walked away with a swag bag:If you were dressed up as one of the characters, you’d also get a special bonus. The lineups were so long that they often wrapped around the booth during everyday of the expo!
FAN EXPO Canada gaming industry guests
Along with game developers, a lot of the voice talent behind famous and infamous characters were present at the show. Actors from some of the biggest titles were signing autographs, taking photos with fans and participating in their own panels. The expo had some excellent talent lined up for fans with Troy Baker (The Last of Us series), Giancarlo Esposito (Far Cry 6), David Hayter (Metal Gear series), Chloe Hollings (Overwatch), Nolan North (Uncharted series), and Carolina Ravassa (Overwatch). It was a great opportunity to meet some of the talented people who help bring these worlds to life.
Dapper threads at the Minecraft + Uniqlo booth
Two of the biggest brands in gaming teamed up for a unique experience at FAN EXPO Canada. Japanese retailer Uniqlo had a booth set up where fans outfit themselves in their own Minecraft threads. If you are looking for some new Minecraft gear, Uniqlo has you covered with their new line of clothes.
That’s a wrap on FAN EXPO Canada 2022!
FAN EXPO Canada had a lot to offer for gamers of all types. From cosplay photo ops to workshops with developers, there was something for everyone. Be sure to check out the Expo next year to get your fix of all things gaming and beyond! And for the latest gaming news and reviews return to the Best Buy blog!