September marked the battle of the consumer events, with Eurogamer facing off against GAME.
It began at BAFTA’s video game awards in March, when the retailer announced GAMEfest would take place in Birmingham NEC between September 16th to 18th. One week before Eurogamer Expo.
Eurogamer MD Rupert Loman told MCV at the time that he was “disappointed GAME is attempting to split the market”.
He said: “Publishers are saying they will do the GAME show, too. But they face a challenge in doing two events in one week, and having to increase their budget – history tells us that isn’t successful for anyone.”
Both shows hoped they offered something different enough to not only attract consumers, but get publishers on-board. And when the doors closed on Eurogamer Expo, it became clear there was no real loser.
GAME has been changing into more than a seller of games this year, but as a way for publishers to promote their wares. GAMEfest was a vital cog in this transformation, with the Birmingham event featuring big stands and promotional imagery, and pulled in 30,000 gamers.
Eurogamer Expo was less about promoting games and more about getting them into fans’ hands. And it did a great job, with some 34,500 satisfied consumers walking through the doors at London’s Earl Court.
Best of all, Loman revealed to MCV that only 5.3 per cent of consumers attended both shows. That means publishers reached a huge audience of gamers over both weekends with little overlap.
So everyone won? Well, not exactly. Attending two consumer shows on consecutive weekends was a logistical and expensive nightmare for publishers.
There is a place for Eurogamer Expo and GAMEfest in 2012. Yet the organisers might want to put a bit of a gap between the two events.