Project Description



Game Digital are the leading gaming retailer in the UK and Multiplay are best known for their epic Insomnia gaming festivals. At the time of this project, Game Digital had just acquired Multiplay and this was to be announced at Insomnia Gaming Festival.

The festival is all about gaming and is the place for gamers to do what they love, game! There is everything from e-sport competitions and an expo stage with special guests to cosplay masquerades and LAN parties.

The Goal

A big part of the festival is the retail zone. Here all the biggest retailers, development studios and manufacturers pitch up to sell and show off their newest tech. At EPH Studios we understood that it was key to this project that Game made a statement, ‘WE ARE THE UK GAMING RETAILER’. The result had to be impressive and innovative. This was a celebration of Game and Multiplay, people had to look at it and feel blown away. The pop-up exhibition stand would then be used for the next 3 years, travelling the UK and appearing at various gaming festivals.

The project came to EPH Studios from Multiplay. We have a great relationship with them due to our year on year growing success with the annual event RuneFest, as well as Event Prop Hire helping them with prior Insomnia festivals. They came to us with the initial idea of an island with a nautical theme and their trust in EPH Studios allowed us to really push the boundaries. One challenge was how to take Game’s exhibition area and make it stand out, like really stand out. They already had the biggest plot right in the centre of the retail exhibition zone. This would follow most exhibition style events with a sea of shell scheme, graphic heavy, pop-up stands. In this we found the hidden potential.
At EPH Studios we are theming experts, so there was no doubt that we could provide an industry quality exhibition stand and elevate it to that immersive level on their chosen theme. From the lush foliage and the feeling of tropical sands right through to smells and sounds. We produced initial immersive stand designs and 3D renders of the space, using the bounty of exciting props available from Event Prop Hire. But this was not enough for the project and we knew it. Like all projects, we ask, where is that potential? Success would be measured on how guests felt when they experience the festival. What would they share on social? What would they talk about after? Where would they gravitate to? What would they remember?

We have produced numerous exhibition style events at EPH Studios, but this is one that we are most proud of. We pulled from our experience and knowledge then threw in our trademark twist with our response, ‘The Game Galleon’.

The Approach

Like all great designs, it started with a sketch. Initial ideas had focused on a shipwreck grounded in the sand. This would have looked great, but it did not go far enough. Game and Multiplay are vibrant and energetic, innovating and dynamic, pushing forward gaming retail and events. The more we defined, the clearer it became and ‘The Game Galleon’ concept design was born.

The Game Galleon is no shipwreck, she a majestic merchant galleon docking into the centre of the exhibition hall, standing proud as a jewel amongst the sea of shell scheme style exhibition stands. Branded sails elevated the Game logo high over the standard heights found in the hall of surrounding stands. No matter where you stood, you could see the Game logo. It did not just look good, function had to come first with the build. There are lots of safety focused rules and regulations that we had to comply with as part of the design. It also had to be a fully functional shop for 5 employees, store enough stock for the festival and be secure. We had to address the fact that we designed this exciting exhibition stand with the main aim of attracting people… so this was going to be a very busy shop! We also developed the concept to provide a top deck, this was to be used as a stage where Game could interact with guests. This interaction took the form of competitions and giveaways at specific times; it was a very successful engagement strategy.

The Challenge

At EPH Studios, we do not just design exciting concepts, but we build them too. We are one of the best bespoke builders in the business and we love a challenge.

There was no doubt that this would be a difficult build, but we always aim to do everything to stay true to the concept. With the Game Galleon we managed to build something that stayed completely true to the concept without compromising the functionality. The Game Galleon was designed and built over a 12-week period and debuted at Insomnia 55. This was a huge project to design and build in such a short time-frame, but the result is a true testament to the hard-working fabricators and talented artists in the EPH Studios production team.

A key part of this build was that we had to make it possible to flat pack down into easy to assemble parts. This is something we excel in with the Event Prop Hire products that EPH Studios produces, this was that, but on an epic scale! Speed was key as it had to be fully built within a 6-hour time window. The creativity we brought to this bespoke build was unmatched and the outcome was a great success. The event guests loved the Game Galleon, it stole the show, trending at every festival it appeared in. The amazing images showing the Game Galleon surrounded by people were both mind blowing and extremely rewarding.

Both Multiplay and Game were blown away by the level of quality and felt that the end result surpassed all expectations. This was a very demanding project but at EPH Studios we love what we do, and we really care about getting the most from projects we are part of. The Game Galleon is the perfect hybrid of fun sculptural form and functional design, bringing to life the excitement and imagination of the gaming world.

An Award Winning Result

In 2020, EPH Studios received a Gold Muse Design award for the Game Galleon.

Find out more here.