“By the numbers and the enthusiasm, this was doubtlessly the right call,” Filipe Daniel, president of the Óbidos Council, said in the report, considering the event to have taken the town to “a new energy and dynamic, and most importantly, a different audience.”

In a press release, the Leiria district government backed up the guest count, saying that between the 4th and 7th of May, 20,000 people attended Óbidos Gaming Town, the first videogame town in the world, with a programme that included retro games, arcade games, videogames, esports, virtual reality and cosplay.

Split between the town itself and Óbidos Technological Park, the event counted with the attendance and participation of influencers, YouTubers, and content creators for their respective communities and two days of conferences, talks and networking.

“We have more cultural events, other more immersive ones, events for different age groups and publics, and Óbidos Gaming Town lets us draw in a more specific audience and show new job opportunities, be them linked to videogames or content creation,” the governor said in the same press release.

Emphasising the importance of this type of events for the region, Filipe Daniel stressed that “this movement of gamers and influencers ends up having a very large expression. If we want to attract and continue to attract people to Óbidos, we must create conditions for all the various age groups to come.”

Organised by the municipal enterprise Óbidos Criativa, in partnership with E2Tech – Technological Events and Entertainment – the 1st Gaming Town had as a base “a vision guided towards the future and to an industry that today is a market leader spanning generations,” Ricardo Duque, manager of Óbidos Criativa, explained.

He expects in the future that the event “will be able to assume itself as a socioeconomic player and a relevant cultural agent, which will contribute to the transformation, modernisation and growth of the regional economy."

Over the course of four days, the public had access to content geared towards all ages, “giving opportunities for the younger ones to enter a Fortnite arena, allowing anyone the immersion of virtual reality, or being in a real esports tournament on a gaming stage, but also the possibility of parents showing their kids the games that defined their childhood in the games and retro games room,” the organisation remarked.

Óbidos Gaming Town received an investment of 250 thousand euros on part of the government and will be on every two years. The first edition featured 20 speakers, 20 hours of talks and 150 participants, nearly 130 hours of competitions and more than 5000€ in prizes on offer.