INTERVIEW: Gamescom

Ben Parfitt
INTERVIEW: Gamescom

A trade show is only as good as its exhibitors. The likes of E3 and Tokyo Games Show would be nothing without the industry’s biggest companies there to showcase their wares, and Gamescom is no exception.

Fortunately, the Cologne-based event has already announced a roster of heavy hitters and the line-up keeps on growing.

In April, the show’s organiser Koelnmesse proudly declared that it had seen a 20 per cent increase in exhibitor registrations compared to last year, and there are still three months to go before the show.

“I’m delighted to say that there is a higher interest in Gamescom than ever before,” says Koelnmesse product manager Tim Endres.

“The demand for exhibition space is higher, both nationally and internationally. For example, Hall 9 – which focuses on online and browser games – is nearly sold out.”

Publishers that have already signed up include Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., Take-Two, Bethesda, Namco Bandai, Valve, Konami, NCsoft, Deep Silver and Trion Worlds – to name but a few. Some are even making a comeback having missed the show last year.

“We are also particularly pleased about Sega and Capcom returning,” Endres says. “Furthermore, we will welcome countless new exhibitors and international companies.”

It’s a testament to how popular the show has become. Gamescom is only in its third iteration, but is already one of the most high profile events in the gaming calendar.

“Gamescom is now a fixed date in the diaries of international head offices,” adds Endres. “Companies now plan their participation earlier, which gives us greater surety when planning the event.

“Numerous exhibitors are increasing their area and saving various world premieres exclusively for Cologne. This is because Gamescom is the only games event in the world that covers all target groups of the industry, making it the appropriate platform for all to achieve their own trade fair objectives.

“This is where the key international players of the industry meet – from development, production, trade and the media, not to mention thousands of players who get to experience the latest software and hardware. This target group mixture creates an incredible sales impulse for the exhibitors’ line-ups.”

To cater to this ever-growing audience, Koelnmesse is constantly adding more areas to the show.

New this year is the Gamescom Campus, which attempts to cover every aspect of the games industry: the culture, the products, the skills and more.

On the campus, attendees will find a jobs and careers forum, retro and art exhibitions, case modding championships, exhibitions from universities and academic institutions and more.

Other additions will be announced at Gamescom’s press conference in Cologne on June 16th.

But, as observed earlier, the future of Gamescom will be dictated largely by that of its exhibitors – a sentiment Endres wholeheartedly agrees with.

He explains: “The growth of the show is always dependent on what the industry players have to offer. In order to further expand the event, we are always in close contact with almost the whole industry.

“And together with our partner, the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software, we are constantly watching the market and expanding our national and international networks.”

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