Dixon Wu is a special guy. For one, he is the mastermind that put together the really cool Retro HK convention (recently celebrating their second annual show successfully). Second, he doesn’t settle for “less”. The first Retro HK event in 2015 featured the public debut of the Sony Super Nintendo CD-ROM hybrid console. The second annual Retro HK event featured the debut of Unholy Night, a new fighting game for the Super Nintendo. Along with each of those special public debuts, Retro HK featured a lot of classic gaming fun, contests, and the coming together of gaming fans. I was able to catch up with Dixon after the 2016 show was completed and when things had settled down a bit on his end. Check out the interview after the jump.
Retro Gaming Magazine) Please introduce yourself
Dixon Wu) Hello there, readers of Retro Gaming Mag. My name is Dixon Wu, and I’m the founder of RETRO.HK, currently Hong Kong’s only retrogaming fair.
RGM) Why start a retrogaming convention?
DU) There’s basically a retro game event in every major city in the world, and one day i just thought, how could Hong Kong not have one? There’s plenty of collectors here with very rare games and consoles, just like Man Ma from Perfect Denki, so the exhibition part is not a problem. There’s plenty of retro gamers, so the interaction is there. What’s needed is simply someone to organize it, to find the appropriate venue, partners and sponsors, and put all the bits and pieces together. I got tired of waiting for it to happen, so I’ve decided to become that someone.
I went to college in the states and went to numerous years of E3 expos and retro game fairs. The experience really helped for organizing RETRO.HK.
RGM) The first year of Retro HK had the Sony Super Nintendo prototype, the second year had the unveiling of Unholy Night. What is your secret to scooping the globe with these exclusives?
DU) There’s really no secret, just be proactive, I guess!
I still remember last year, when I first saw the video of the Nintendo PlayStation prototype which Dan Diebold uploaded to Youtube–I was super excited. “Someone finally found it!” I thought. So I just Googled and found Dan’s Facebook page, and messaged him. I told him “Don’t sell it!” and asked if he would be interested in exhibiting the prototype in Hong Kong. Out of hundreds of emails and messages, somehow Dan saw mine, we connected through Skype, and got introduced to his dad Terry Diebold shortly after we already started planning their trip to Hong Kong. I contacted HMV Hong Kong which agreed to sponsor their tickets and accommodation, and also the venue for the first RETRO.HK last year in November. Again, just be proactive, anything is possible.
Unholy Night on SNES/SFC is quite a surprise, even for myself. A lot of people helped to line it up, and we literally got the prototype cartridge delivered to us from Japan a few hours before the event officially started. It’s challenging to think of something that can top last year’s Nintendo PlayStation prototype, I cannot think of anything that is as rare and as important in the gaming history as it is. But I guess having a brand new SNES/SFC fighting game unveiled in RETRO.HK 2016 should be pretty exciting for retro gamers worldwide. I personally can’t wait for the game to come out.
RGM) What other projects are you involved in that you can discuss?
DU) The “RetroCup” tournament is an important element in RETRO.HK. People loved it, and we are looking into the possibility of making it bigger and more frequent.
We are also closely communicating with Mr. Joseph Redon of the Game Preservation Society to have more collaboration in the coming year.
As for me personally, I was an early member of Shenmue500k, the group helped make Shenmue 3 happen and I’m very proud of that.
Somewhere down the line, I’d also like to set up a private game club, a place where people can gather to play games regularly and have part of their collection on display permanently. It’s still a very early concept though.
RGM) Anything you would like to say to the readers?
DU) Thank you for reading! Keep supporting the retro game scene and Retro Gaming Mag!
Please also visit www.retro.hk to get updates on our events. Feel free to contact us for collaboration!
Photo taken at the entrance of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University – School of Design, Jockey Club Innovation Tower (Venue of RETRO.HK 2016) [From left to right, Man Ma or Perfect Denki, Dixon Wu (me), Rhys G. Jones of PolyU]
RETRO.HK is most definitely a group effort! Other than Perfect Denki and PolyU, this year we’ve also joined forces with otaku-games.com, GameRun, BenQ & Zone by BenQ, Game Preservation Society (Japan), Hong Kong Game Development Association, GameCC, HK Retro Game Lovers and Global Game Jam, to name a few.
Some shots I took in RETRO.HK 2016:
Pro players Humanbomb and Cody trying out Yatagarasu and Unholy Night.
RetroCup 2016 – Full house during The King of Fighters 98 competition.
The “Free Play Zone” for visitors to play classic games against each other. We were thrilled to see a lot of retro gamers bring their children too.
Every “RetroCup” champion wins a custom trophy, BenQ gaming monitor, a RetroFreak console, Chocoolate Pac-Man T-shirt & Fleece, Hotwheels limited edition collectibles, a pack of BLU energy drink, a Street Fighter V Ryu action figure by Storm Collectibles, etc.
Some exclusive “behind the scenes” shots:
We stayed overnight at the venue to carefully place the exhibits in the glass cases, and made signages with information on each console.
Believe it or not, one of the highest costs to organise RETRO.HK is to rent these glass cases. Hope we can get that sponsored next year.
This is the “RetroCup” tournament area, where we had competitions for Street Fighter II and III 3rd Strike, KOF 98 and KOF XI, Super Mario Bros, Speed Run and Saturn Bomberman. This year, we also have commentary and live streaming to Facebook live and Twitch, thanks to our partner GameCC.