NEC games event emerges

By Stuart Dinsey
After winning the battle of the trade shows last year, its EGN eventually beating CMP’s ECTS into submission, the ExCeL-based organiser LEC now has competition for its GameZone Live consumer event (formerly known as GameStars Live).

The biggest challenge would appear to be coming from a new ‘experiential’ event called State Of Play, which is targeting 18 to 30 year-olds. It will be held at the NEC, Birmingham and run from October 14th-16th.

Importantly, Microsoft has already signed up with State Of Play for Xbox, whilst its organisers Mark Adams and Henry Camilleri are well connected in the games industry through previous events they have been involved in, such as Board X and Urban Games.

Another, different, event called Xtreme Gamers is apparently set for Earls Court in July. Details are scant, with it targeting console formats only and an apparently ambivalent response coming from the main platform owners and games publishers so far.

But State Of Play already has Xbox on board and is in talks with both Sony and Nintendo. All three companies have worked with the organiser before, as have big names such as Electronic Arts and Activision.

The show’s features include a live music stage, battle ring, extreme park and adults-only pleasure dome. There will also be a ‘Head of State’ challenge designed to search and select the best gamers in the UK.
PR support comes from the London agency Radiator, which numbers Nike amongst its clients.

“We’re not looking to compete with anyone else, we’re just bringing a completely new kind of show to the games market. By bringing in other brands, celebrities and themes, we’re creating a genuinely exciting event that pulls games closer to film, sport, fashion and music,” Adams told MCV.

“Games just aren’t cool enough at the moment. But they could be. This is about creating an event that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.”

State of Play is targeting 80,000 visitors over the three days and will be supported by PR, ads and direct mail, as well as a High Street retail partner programme.

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