'Gamescom must trump Leipzig'

'Gamescom must trump Leipzig'
That Sony used GC to reveal new models of PS3 and PSP goes a long way to demonstrate exactly how important this show has become – even the platform holder’s E3 showing this year was sparse in comparison.

But it’s just not enough. While the film industry holds one of its many media-friendly events in Venice this week, the games industry has just come back from its trip to Germany’s 14th biggest city. It doesn’t add up.

The drawbacks of the show have been well documented; the comedy airport at Altenberg, the hotel infrastructure and the city itself. 

With the greatest respect to the place, I’m sure its inhabitants will admit that it lacks the glamour of LA or Tokyo.

If Europe is to hold a games event of global significance, it needs to live up to its movie industry contemporaries – and it seems Leipzig will never do that.

While the trade area was a hive of activity and the consumer part of the show packed to the rafters, it is no surprise that some bright spark within the BIU has moved to take the format elsewhere – potentially doubling its attendance in the process.

While the UK industry’s squabbling and indecision continues to hold it back from setting up its own show, you can trust the Germans to put on a good event.

Given sufficient backing (I’m looking at you, Nintendo), Gamescom in Cologne can make Europe the focus for the global games industry, and perhaps most importantly, the worldwide media.

All seems pretty straightforward, right? Not if you ask the organiser of GC – according to them, we’re going to see two rival shows in Germany next year.

While it was comical to see vans with Gamescom ’09 ads plastered all over them park up at the entrance of Games Convention this year, let’s hope these two shows don’t get involved in the same kind of destructive tussle that resulted in the demise of ECTS and EGN here in the UK.

At MCV we seem to write about trade shows a lot – it’s our job, after all. While a good slagging match always makes for great copy, here’s hoping we don’t spend the next six months reporting on a fruitless scramble for publisher backing, ending in a total collapse of both.

Currently, the smart money’s on Cologne in terms of consumer appeal; Gamescom must trump Leipzig’s excellent trade offering to offer the full package.

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