GC - Games Convention Leipzig: Europe's Benchmark Fair with Record Figures for the Seventh Time

GC - Games Convention

21 - 24 August 2008

(20 August 2008: exclusive Trade Visitor&Media Day)

Leipzig, 20 August 2008

- More Exhibitors, Larger Area, More Premieres

- GC Business Center Takes up One-Third of Total Area

- GC Job&Career: More than a Job Market

All set for the biggest gaming event of the year, the GC - Games Convention! For the seventh time, Europe's benchmark fair for interactive entertainment, infotainment, edutainment and hardware invites visitors from all over the world to Leipzig. From 21 to 24 August, 547 exhibitors present their innovations for digital games and gaming. That means nine per cent more than last year (2007: 503 exhibitors). In the exhibition halls and on the outdoor area overall, companies at the GC occupy 115,000 square metres (2007: 12,500).

This represents yet another chapter in the meteoric success story of Leipzig's GC - Games Convention. Since its premiere in 2002, the show has grown from year to year, increasing the figures for exhibitors, visitors and the area booked. In this way, the industry's leading European fair remains true to itself, says Wolfgang Marzin, CEO at Leipziger Messe GmbH. "At this time, Leipzig is the centre of gravity for the European game industry. The industry looks to Leipzig, waiting eagerly for the signals for the German and European market from the year's most important fair." The fair's importance was also reflected in the number of premieres which had increased again in comparison to the previous year - by a total of 50 per cent. This means there are 300 world, European and German premieres on the agenda; in 2007, the total was 200. (There is a separate press release on premieres.)

Leipzig's GC - Games Convention is being attended by exhibitors from a total of 32 countries (2007: 31), among them France, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, the UK and the USA. As in previous years, almost all the industry's market leaders are here, such as Aktivision, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft.

New Hall Arrangement Shortens Distances

A new hall concept makes it easier to find your way around the GC - Games Convention this year, as well as shortening the distances. The Software Entertainment section is in Halls 2, 3 and 5, withthe providers of consoles and leading publishers showing the latest video and computer games. Hall 4 focuses on hardware innovations and accessories. Two new tube walkways link Halls 4 and 5, making it simpler to get around. The outdoor area behind Halls 2 and 4 is also in use, with the GC Beach Club and several exhibitors organising fun sports. Games keen on action can try out the quad course, as well as the big beach soccer area.

GC Business Center: More Room for Games Business

Whilst enthusiastic gamers enjoy themselves in the exhibition halls, the trade public and press are expected in the GC Business Center which offers a quiet working atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the fair. "In response to the big demand from exhibitors, we have extended the GC Business Center from 30,000 to 40,000 square metres. That means it occupies a third of the total GC exhibition area", says Peggy Schönbeck, project director for the GC - Games Convention. The GC Business Center occupies the entire Congress Center Leipzig, all of Hall 1 and half of Hall 2. Parallel to this expansion, the organisers expect another increase in the number of trade visitors (2007: 12,300 from 40 countries) and in that of the journalists present (2007: 3,395 from 46 countries).

With the new "Marketplace" service option, the Leipziger Messe gives more support to its exhibitors in the GC Business Center. "To facilitate their preparations, we offer companies a joint stand, fully equipped by us and including services. Thanks to this, they can concentrate entirely on their business", explains Peggy Schönbeck.

In the Hall 2 part of the GC Business Center, the Developers Village is specifically intended for aspiring developers, featuring international joint attendances from Finland, France, Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden and Taiwan, among others. Aiming to bring their innovative ideas onto the market, young exhibitors can make contact here with the big publishers.

For the first time and serving as a springboard for the international arena, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) is funding the participation of young German companies at the GC - Games Convention. This is an outcome of the classification of the GC - Games Convention by the BMWi as an international benchmark fair.

Thrilling Game Music Concert: Video Games Live

This year's GC - Games Convention is launched at 20.00 on 20 August 2008 in the Arena Leipzig with the cult show Video Games Live. A brilliant orchestra, a choir of powerful voices, gigantic light effects: this game music event from the USA celebrates its German premiere in Leipzig.

A major musical event awaits visitors. The Video Games Live Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jack Wall and with the 21-year-old American star pianist Martin Leung, plays hits from legendary games such as "Halo", "Final Fantasy" and "Tomb Raider". During the music, game scenes are shown across a giant screen, actors take on the roles of the digital characters and the very brave can test their skills in competition onstage. A laser show is a special highlight.

GC Job&Career Day on the Friday

Digital games are not just for entertainment, but are also creating more and more jobs. In the GC Job&Career section in Hall 2, school and college students and young professionals can find out about career and starter opportunities in the games industry. Whilst well-known experts present the different career profiles in the GC Forum, universities are alongside to introduce their courses for the computer and video game sector. Anyone interested in a career in games, should make a note of Friday, the official GC Job&Career Day. Exhibitors provide their human resources professionals to answer visitors' questions.

"Level 1 - Learning to Play" at the GC family

GC family in Hall 2 sets out once again to be a stepping-stone into the digital world for teachers, parents and beginners. This year's focus is on child-appropriate games and the facilitation of media literacy. The games arena is at the heart of GC family, offering interactive competitions with the headline "Level 1 - Learning to Play". In the five game zones "Learning", "Multiplayer", "Children", "Teens" and "Family", visitors can also test out the latest educational games, family and children's software. Media experts such as Prof. Hartmut Warkus, media educational theory professor at Leipzig University, explain what is available and are on hand to answer any and all questions.

Games as Art: GC Art 2008

Four GC ART exhibitions in Hall 2 at the Leipzig Exhibition Centre show how art links into digital game worlds. Organised by the BerlinComputer Game Museum and the GC - Games Convention, "Space Invaders. From Outer Space" pays homage to this classic on its 30th birthday. It centres on the major interactive installation "Invaders!" by the artist Douglas Edric Stanley - where players use all their body-strength to steer the virtual canon. The big retro-gaming event "History&Culture" takes visitors back into the digital gaming past - retro clubs from Germany and France present collector's pieces from the last few decades. The special shows "Machinima" and "Digital Beauties" present the creative potential in computer games and new technology. Visitors can attend workshops to do it for themselves.

Creativity of a very different kind is on show in Casemodding@GC: inventive computer modellers use acrylic glass, paint or light effects to transform the once monotonous cases of their game machines into small works of art. More than 30 gamers present the most imaginative remodelled PCs - and reveal the tricks behind case tuning.

GC Freestyle - the Gamer Camp

When the exhibition halls switch off for the night, the gamer's day is by no means over. At the "GC Freestyle - Gamer Camp" at Leipzig's festival ground at the main stadium - right in the heart of town - visitors can camp, chill out and play on. From 20 August 2008, there will be room here for more than 5,000 tents, plus DJ music, fun sports and free wireless LAN. With four overnights, tickets for the "GC Freestyle - Gamer Camp" cost 130 euros and include four-day admission to the GC - Games Convention and free use of local public transport to and from the Exhibition Centre. A one-night stay including a GC one-day ticket costs 38 euros.

Specials: Special Trains, Extra Coaches, Special Prices

The Deutsche Bahn rail service brings exhibitors and trade visitors to and from the GC - Games Convention quickly and easily from any German DB station for 99 euros (2nd class) or 159 euros (1st class). Tickets are valid between 18 and 26 August 2008 on all DB trains, including the ICEs (hotline: +49 1805-31 11 53; keyword "Games Convention").

For GC day-trippers, the Deutsche Bahn is again offering special trains, even including DJ cars - on 21 August from Munich and on 23 August from Cologne. Return tickets plus admission to the fair cost 79 euros from Munich and 69 euros from Cologne.

It's rail&play with Connex services too. The one-day InterConnex combi-ticket takes GC fans from Berlin to Leipzig and back on the same day for 39 euros, including admission to the fair. The InterConnex actually adds extra stops at the Leipziger Messe station, just a few minutes on foot from the exhibition hall entrances.

For the first time, the Leipziger Messe joins "Connect GC" in organising a blanket coverage coach service from over 30 German big towns, ready to set off for Leipzig on the Saturday of the fair. For a non-stop service straight to the gaming mecca, at least 50 bookings are needed per town. The price of the coach transfer depends on the distance, a return from Berlin, for example, costs 39 euros, from Munich 56 euros.

All the GC - Games Convention travel options are available at: http://www.gc-germany.com/Visitors/Travel.

Easier Flight-Path

There will also be additional flight connections to Leipzig during the GC - Games Convention, helping with easier travel from all over the world. Larger planes are being used for scheduled flights and there will be extra charter flights from London at the price of 250 euros.

Long Weekend for Gamers

On Friday (22 August) and Saturday (23 August), the exhibition halls at the GC - Games Convention are open from 09.00 to 20.00. On Thursday (21 August) and Sunday (24 August) opening times are from 09.00 to 18.00.

In Retrospect: GC - Games Convention 2007

185,000 visitors came to Leipzig for the GC - Games Convention 2007 where they viewed around 200 world, European and German premieres shown by 503 exhibitors from 31 countries (2005: 374 exhibitors from 24 countries). A total of 3,395 journalists from 46 countries (2006: 2,610 journalists from 38 countries) filed reports from Europe's most important action and trade show, with its focus on interactive entertainment.

Contact for the Press:

Torsten Anke, Press Officer

Phone: +49 (0) 341 678 8198

Fax: +49 (0) 341 678 8182

E-mail: t.anke@leipziger-messe.de

Contact for Exhibitors:

Peggy Schönbeck, Project Director

Phone: +49 (0) 341 678 8281

Fax: +49 (0) 341 678 8282

E-mail: p.schoenbeck@leipziger-messe.de

Internet:

http://www.gc-germany.com

http://www.leipziger-messe.de


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