245,000 visitors experience spectacular premiere of gamescom in Cologne

The premiere of the new leading trade fair for interactive entertainment and games - gamescom - has been a complete success. 245,000 visitors came to the Koelnmesse site from 19 - 23 August to experience and try out game novelties provided by 458 exhibiting companies from 31 countries. Straight away this makes gamescom the largest games fair in the world and with a ratio of around 44 percent, internationally extremely successful. After five intensive trade fair days, event organiser Koelnmesse and its conceptual sponsor, the German Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware - BIU) were very pleased with the result.

Oliver P. Kuhrt, managing director of Koelnmesse GmbH: "The gamescom premiere ran splendidly. We are very happy with the enthusiastic response of both exhibitors and visitors. This has established gamescom as a leading trade fair straight away." Olaf Wolters, managing director of the BIU in his summary: "We are very proud of the premiere of gamescom. It fulfilled all our objectives right away and is the largest game trade fair in the world. Computer and video games are so attractive that our industry is breaking all records despite the economic crisis."

Over a space of 120,000 square metres, world, European and German premieres were presented to fans and families at the Cologne trade fair grounds. In addition to the game premieres, an entertaining supporting programme with activities, events and an emphasis on youth protection, gamesCompetence, provided a successful framework. In addition, around 100,000 people celebrated the games at the Tanzbrunnen, the Lanxess Arena and downtown Cologne, at the numerous events of the gamescom festival that were held outside the trade fair grounds.

On the trade visitor and media day, the potential of gamescom was already clearly evident. Over 17,000 trade visitors and more than 4,000 media representatives from 48 countries were guests at the premiere of gamescom and tested the hardware and software novelties from the 458 companies. The results from the exhibitor and trade visitor survey were correspondingly positive. 95 percent of all exhibitors emphasized the high visitor quality, 92 percent of all trade visitors assessed their own visit to gamescom as being successful. 90 percent have already stated that they will come back to Cologne in 2010. Numerous exhibitors both domestic and foreign have already confirmed their participation for next year. Gerald Böse, Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, reported: "gamescom has set the trend worldwide and impressively underscored the power of Cologne as a media and communications location in the interplay between the trade fair, the city and the participating industries. This success is an important impetus for the future of Cologne media and entertainment fairs. It motivates us to expand even further on our trade fair offering for the digital creative economy."

World premieres and award winners

The games industry enthused visitors and fans alike with a magnificent display of premieres and new introductions in all areas. From the world premiere of Playstation 3 Slim, to Microsoft's Project Natal, through to the newest games for Nintendo end devices, the list of spectacular newcomers was long. At the gamescom Awards, which were awarded by an independent jury of media and trade for the best games of the trade fair, the following were winners: StarCraft II - Wings of Liberty won the best-of-show award, "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" (console), "The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks" (mobile), "Aion" (online), "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" (PC) and "Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics" (Family Entertainment). Such celebrities as boxer Wladimir Klitschko and Hollywood star Ralf Möller, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, Smudo, and Thomas D., as well as Germany's Next Top Models, who led the team of celebrities, all proved that they love to dip into the world of interactive entertainment. Besides the wide variety on offer in computer and video games, the supporting programme also offered interactive entertainment: from the German casemodding championships, to the job&careers centre, exciting e-sport contests and the exhibition "Retro Gaming 1972-2009" on to the spectacular live shows of Tony Hawk and the best skateboarders in the world. In the outdoor area too, all kinds of fun and entertainment were guaranteed with a motorcycle stunt show, various types of trend sports such as free-running, high-rope climbing and beach volleyball. Anyone who needed a break could enjoy a cool drink in a relaxed atmosphere at the gamescom beach.

gamesCompetence with programme highlight gamescom congress

The subject area of youth protection and media learning was another focus in demand at the gamescom days in Cologne. More than 30 exhibitors, clubs, associations and institutions showed the vast variety on offer these days when it comes to correctly handling interactive media. The specialist highlight of gamescom was without a doubt the gamescom congress. Organised by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) under the leadership of Andreas Krautscheid, Minister for Federal Affairs, Europe and Media, the Media Authority of NRW (Landesanstalt für Medien - LfM), the City of Cologne and the BIU, the congress was dedicated to the impact of computer games on society and with more than 350 visitors was a complete success. Key figures from the games industry, representatives from politics, but also parents and teachers followed the lectures and discussions by games experts and scientists. This congress therefore fitted perfectly into the games strategy of the City of Cologne, which again and again has pushed the socio-political discussion on the topic of gaming, according to Fritz Schramma, Lord Mayor of the City of Cologne.

The gamescom festival with the city festival on the weekend brought entertainment, music and gaming fun into the city. Opened by the TOTEN HOSEN, around 100,000 visitors were enthused at the numerous events at the Tanzbrunnen, downtown and in the Lanxess Arena. In advance of gamescom, the international team of game developers also celebrated an extremely successful premiere in the form of the Game Developers Conference Europe (GDC Europe). With 1500 participants and more than 250 media representatives record levels were achieved straight away.

gamescom 2010 will take place in Cologne from 18 - 22 August.

gamescom in figures: A total of 458 companies from 31 countries took part in gamescom 2009 on a gross floor space of 120,000 square metres. 248 exhibitors and 11 additionally represented companies came from Germany, 199 exhibitors and 2 additionally represented companies from abroad. Including estimates for the last trade fair day, visitor figures came to 17,000 trade visitors and 228,000 end consumers.

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You can find further information on gamescom - the trade fair and event highlight for the international interactive entertainment industry - at www.gamescom-cologne.com . The latest news is also available as an RSS feed in the press area.

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