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Is GAMESCom too late for retail?

GAMESCom organisers insist that the German games fair fits in with the trade’s preparations for Christmas, despite criticism over its timing.

Earlier in the year the German trade association Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (BIU) and Cologne’s trade fair business Koelnmesse announced that GAMESCom will kick off in September 2009, which drew complaints from the trade that the event overlaps with the start of the Christmas sales period.

Yet president of Koelnmesse Oliver P. Kuhrt insists the timing of the show is necessary to turn GAMESCom into a truly international games show.

“Of course there are always individual preferences concerning certain dates,” explained Kuhrt. “However, the September date is necessary, in order to include Southern European industry representatives and to reinforce the international claim of GAMESCom.

“We calculate that the new timing still fits in with trade preparations for the Christmas sales period.”

GAMESCom could effectively replace the Leipzig Games Convention next year, and Kuhrt insists that smaller publishers won’t be ignored in favour of the big financial heavyweights such as Nintendo, Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Sony.

“We and the association know the importance the smaller publishers play in the market as a whole,” added Kuhrt.

“We can assure you that we take the concerns and hardships of these businesses very seriously and pay close attention to the development of costs, so there will be no sudden price increase.”

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Tags: gamescom , koelnmesse , olaf wolters , biu

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