Death of the big show idea

State Of Play, due to have taken place at the Birmingham NEC in the middle of next month, has officially collapsed – meaning that two ambitious gamer shows have now been axed within six months.

Game Stars Live was cancelled earlier this year by London ExCeL’s frustrated organising company after just one fairly undistinguished outing last September.

It had also failed despite a huge investment in it by leading companies such as EA and the highly vocal support of publisher trade body ELSPA. Major companies such as Electronic Arts, again, and Microsoft had backed State of Play to take its place.

The hope was for a more lifestyle-orientated event, run by a far more experienced outfit with strong media and power brand links, but further support from games companies failed to materialise.

Organiser Mark Adams recently made a forlorn plea for more backing. “Software publishers have all voiced the opinion that the industry really needs a Q4 consumer show, but save for EA no one has actually signed on the dotted line,” he said in a pan-publisher email.

But when asked by MCV this week what the response had been, Adams finally admitted that State Of Play had officially been “postponed”.

Microsoft had offered format support, originally planning high profile promotion for its new Xbox 360 console, but this did not galvanise others as originally expected.

Electronic Arts, meanwhile, will now have to find a new venue for its planned FIFA Interactive World Cup event. It told MCV this week that new plans would be revealed shortly.

Games publishers are clearly not willing to pull together in the UK to support any kind of umbrella show, preferring events that meet their private budgets and strategies.

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