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At GC's Conclusion, Event Promises Return, U.S. Expansion

At GC's Conclusion, Event Promises Return, U.S. Expansion

August 25, 2008 | By Eric Caoili

August 25, 2008 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC

The Games Convention will return to Leipzig, Germany in 2009 (August 19 - 23) despite coincidence with Cologne's new GAMESCom event slated for September, according to Leipzig Trade Fair CEO Wolfgang Marzin.

German trade association Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware and Cologne's trade fair business Koelnmesse announced in February that the Leipzig Games Convention will be replaced with GAMESCom, set to take place in Cologne, Germany in September of 2009.

The Games Convention announcement comes as organizers report a record turnout rate of 38,000 people visiting this year's four-day expo, up from 35,000 a year ago.

A representative survey conducted by the Leipzig Institut fr Marktforschung asked the question "Do you think there should be a GC in Leipzig in 2009?", to which only ten percent of exhibitors answered "no." Of the 14,600 trade visitors who were asked the same question, only 13.2 percent responded "no."

Over 82.1 percent of private visitors voted that they wanted to see GC return to Leipzig in 2008. Marzin argued, "The industry and visitors are giving us their clear support to continue with the fair in Leipzig."

Although widely attended by publishers (with the notable exception of Nintendo this year), the Games Convention has been criticized by international visitors for its lacking transport links to Leipzig, particularly by air.

"Anyone who has experienced the enthusiastic mood in the exhibition halls over the last seven years knows: this fair belongs in Leipzig," says Leipzig mayor and Leipzig Trade Fair board chairman Burkhard Jung.

"The fairs and conferences in Leipzig are becoming increasingly international and attract more and more visitors... We will do everything to help this new cultural sector and the GC - Games Convention to achieve further success."

Trade fair CEO Marzin also says that the group's Games Convention operations will expand to North America: "The concept is flexible and the network of the global games industry permits us to be active at different locations."

An Asian edition of the event was launched in 2007 and held in Singapore. GC Asia will return to Singapore this year, running from September 18th to 20th.

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