Publishers’ European media and trade events are becoming few and far between – as the recession bites and firms turn their heads to a less US-centric E3.
MCV can reveal that Ubisoft this week became the latest publisher to drop its popular European trade event – Ubidays. The two-day expo attracted over 1,000 journalists and trade execs in 2007 and last year. 2008’s impressive event was held at the world-famous Louvre museum.
A Ubisoft spokesperson told MCV: “With regards to Ubidays, with the E3 event in the US, the GamesCom in Europe and Tokyo Games Show in Japan, we think that we’ll have great outlets to present our creativity and innovation to a worldwide audience and will therefore reconsider our plans. There won’t be a Ubidays this year.”
The decision comes after Sega and THQ both decided to pull their joint European expo, the annual Business Partners Summit. Like Ubidays, the show was retired after two successful years.
2008’s Sega & THQ Business Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, attracted nearly 400 trade delegates from across Europe, Africa, Australia and beyond. The duo launched their combined show in Malta in 2007, after retail questioned the time efficiency of attending single-publisher events.
Sega Europe President and COO Mike Hayes confirmed to MCV that the publisher would switch support to this year’s E3, which has thrown open its doors to the UK market.
And it’s not just European events that have been extinguished. Troubled publisher Midway Inc. this year decided not to run its annual Midway Gamers’ Day event in Las Vegas – which was usually well attended by European trade and media.
This year’s ‘expanded E3’ has promised to cater for both an international and core US audience of retail, media, publishers and developers.