Organisers of Gamescom are hoping to tempt retailers to the show with free flights – and draw in consumers with the first public demos of Natal and Move.
Show host Koelnmesse and German trade group BIU held a special presentation in London this week outlining plans to cement the expo’s dates on the industry calendar.
“Last year it was difficult to convince companies to make important announcements at Gamescom, but Sony chose our show to officially reveal the PS3 Slim,” said BIU CEO Olaf Wolters.
“So I really think people have seen how successful companies can be by making global announcements at our show. Gamescom is ready to grow and take the next step.”
At the presentation this week Koelnmesse reps said they are confident 2010’s expo will beat last year’s gigantic attendance figures. As many as 270,000 are hoped will visit Cologne in August, an increase of 25,000 on 2009.
And to expand its European trade reach the firm is also offering free trips to the event for 100 British game retailers.
Explained Wolters: “We want to make it easier for internationals to come to Germany. Everything has come true since we planned the switch from Leipzig to Cologne, the plan to make travel as easy as possible for everyone has worked and we can move on from the problems back in Leipzig.
“It’s really easy to travel to Cologne, and really easy to get to Gamescom.”
Wolters said Gamescom’s priority is European audiences, not global – and that the event isn’t in competition with E3.
“E3 is a networking event, and it’s a long distance for European retailers to fly over there, actually. If retailers want to do their business, they can do it very well at Gamescom,” he added.
“It’s good to have a focus on the European market. In Europe you can discuss the issues that affect Europe – that simply doesn’t happen in America. Gamescom brings European business closer to the market, closer to the issues.”
Wolters also told MCV Gamescom will be the first time Sony and Microsoft will show their motion-control devices to consumers.
“We’re confident that Sony and Microsoft will want to show their devices to the public at Gamescom for the first time,” said Wolters. "We won’t just have demonstrations behind closed doors.”
Wolters said Gamescom is ‘a great testing environment’ for the launch of new hardware and software, as tradesmen get to see queues build up for new products and software – as well as make their feelings towards the products known.
“That’s what makes the show really unique – it combines business with a huge market audience,” added Wolters.
Gamescom takes place from August 18th to August 22nd. For more details visit www.gamescom-cologne.com