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Gamescom predicts Leipzig demise

Ben Parfitt

The organiser of next year’s Cologne-based trade show Gamescom has boldly predicted the death of rival show Games Convention – days after revealing it had changed dates to coincide exactly with the Leipzig expo.

As revealed online earlier this week Gamescom will now run from August 19th to 23rd – the same time as Leipzig Games Convention’s already-announced timetable.

The new date better suits industry supporters at German association the BIU, Koelnmesse chief Oliver P. Kuhrt told MCV. He claimed the Leipzig clash was an ‘accident’, as no other earlier substitute dates were available. However, he added that any trouble caused was negligible – due to poor trade support for Games Convention.

“It’s much more convenient, especially for the trade, to use this new date in August. All the members of the BIU are backing Cologne – they represent over 80 per cent of the market,” said Kuhrt, adding that a committee of senior execs from the German offices of EA, Sony, Ubisoft, Sega, THQ, Koch, Atari and Nintendo met this week to thrash out final details for the new event.

“I am absolutely sure that in two or three months’ time Leipzig will announce its withdrawal from the market – because nobody is going to be there,” he said.

“There is no chance of doing something at the same time as Gamescom because the entire industry has committed itself to come to Cologne. You have to accept that the trade has decided to move elsewhere.

“Leipzig can print as many brochures as they like – but I’m sure they’ll give up in a few months.”

However, Leipziger Messe CEO Wolfgang Marzin fired back, saying Gamescom’s date switch highlighted its instability, and promised that Games Convention was in it for the long haul.

“With Cologne there is always adjustments to dates or figures. This is not the last change they’ll make and I don’t think it’s professional. Leipzig is the competent and reliable partner for the games community,” Marzin said.

“Their first show is ‘a vision’ – the show hasn’t happened yet, it only exists as a brand. We have international support and many organisations around the world back us.

“I see Games Convention on the market for the next five years. And the market will decide what happens, not Gamescom. The best concept will survive, and the best concept is Leipzig.”

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Tags: convention , gamescom , trade , show , leipsig , messe

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