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COMMENT: Play-ing with the big boys

COMMENT: Play-ing with the big boys
If there’s one thing that these squirm-inducing memories prove, it’s that Wembley is a very English stadium. It can quash expectations in a flash: reducing previously heroic sentiment to rubble.

But we all know that when Wembley throws up those against-the-odds miraculous moments, it can also make a nation proud in an instant. All it asks is a moment of divine bravery.

So everyone who cares about the international view of the UK’s games industry should be taking their hats off to Play.com this morning.

The decision to meet the frustrated caterwauls of publishers and consumers with such an audacious conception is one of the bravest, most ambitious moves the UK games industry has ever witnessed.

Indeed, in its scope and enterprise; in its very daring to rasp at the well-worn possibility of consumer show failure, you could well have expected it to come from… whisper it… an American.

Yet this year, ‘E3-lite’ left much of the global industry underwhelmed. And E For All produced about as much magic as Debbie McGee in her twilight years.

When it comes to eye-popping spectacles of gaming, the Yanks aren’t the force they once were. Could it be time for us Limeys to take over?

The fingers of the UK industry have been burnt in the past, of course. But think about it. The greatest market in the greatest industry in the world, showing off its wares in the greatest stadium Mother Earth has ever seen. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Which is why it would be so wonderful if those reading this took a punt – and got on board. Give Play or Tandem Events a call. Listen to why they want every publisher in the land to help them pull off what seemed impossible just weeks ago.

If Play.com Live is as successful as we should all hope it will be, it could one day stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Leipzig – which inspires almost unanimous praise from the wider industry.

Indeed, the Germans’ model is something for the UK to aspire to. If we can do this even half as well as the Leipzig organisers, we will have a lot to thank them for. We could even invite them over to Wembley.

So long as they promise not to bring along Dietmar Hamann.

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