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Lift-off for GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE in Leipzig

GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE

(31 July - 2 August 2009)

Leipzig, 30 June 2009

Three days, two nights, one event: on 31 July 2009, the halls open for the world's first ever trade show for browser, client and mobile games, the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. More than 50,000 gaming fans are expected at the Leipzig premiere. They're anticipating a huge community get-together, with presentation of the latest online games, prizes for Germany's best computer gamers and the most exciting gamer party. A total of 74 exhibitors will be here from eight countries. They are showing around 150 different games, 50 of them world or European premieres. "Online games are revolutionising the digital entertainment market. With their minimum access preconditions, they are on the march worldwide. So I'm all the more delighted that we in Leipzig are holding the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE as the new trade show for this highly innovative industry", says Wolfgang Marzin, CEO of the Leipziger Messe.

According to a recent study from the Bundesverbands Informations-wirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e.V. (BITKOM), online games have increasingly become a mass phenomenon in recent years. Ten million Germans are already playing online today. In combination with the development of new, multimedia-capable mobile phones, BITKOM sees rising demand for mobile games as the coming trend. Further results from the study will be made known during the GCO Dialogue Conference being held in Leipzig on 31 July and 1 August parallel to the trade show.

New Fair, New Concept

In terms of concept, the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE embarks on several new paths at one and the same time. Instead of being restricted to access on the spot as has always been the case for trade fairs up to now, the GCO also opens its doors on the internet. For the three days of the fair, exhibitors are making parts of their games available to the online community free of charge at www.gamesconvention.com. Both trailers and entire levels will be on offer. The Berlin Computer Game Museum is also making its interactive exhibition "Timeline" accessible to visitors both in Leipzig and at the same time on the internet.

The online appearance is backed up by several livestreams from the conference programme, daily web TV contributions, radio broadcasts on the internet, its own blog and the GCO Forum. "True to the industry's beliefs, the various offline and online options blend together at the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. Our exhibitors benefit from greater attention, and visitors can whet their appetite for the fair back home at the computer", explains Silvana Kürschner, Strategy Director GC Global.

Another innovation is the emphasis on the event character of this fair. In two public exhibition halls with a total area of 40,000 square metres, visitors can expect much more than just the presentation of the latest games. A varied supporting programme provides gamers with nothing but entertainment for three whole days. "Communities of several hundreds up to a thousand networked online gamers are the heart of the industry. They are in direct contact via the internet and decide on the success or failure of individual games. At the GCO, we give these communities the opportunity to meet in reality and in that way, to intensify contact with the businesses", as Kürschner makes clear.

From the World Cyber Games through the Samsung Mobile Challenge, several fun sport options and exhibitions, to the subjects of casemodding and avatar design, bands performing far into the night, the latest anime films as well as community presentations, visitors can enjoy a colourful selection of attractive entertainment.

Business and Entertainment

An intelligent subdivision of the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE into a trade visitor and a general public section enables exhibitors to make specific appeals to the fair's visitors. The Business Center, located in the Congress Center Leipzig (CCL), brings together decision-makers from the areas of entertainment, games development, IT, telecommunications, media, marketing, advertising and consulting. This is where cooperation deals will be negotiated, game licences sold and advertising campaigns planned.

The GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE CONFERENCE is also based in the Business Center. As the world's first and in its content coverage most comprehensive conference, it will spend two days examining the phenomenon of online and mobile games from technical, economic and sociological angles. More than 100 speakers from 15 countries have been invited by the Hamburg-based Hans-Bredow-Institut für Medienforschung. David Reeves, for many years CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and Jong Hyun Wi, president of the Game Contents Research Center at Chung-Ang University in Seoul, have agreed to take part as keynote speakers.

For private visitors, there are two exhibition halls, the outdoor area and the GCO Beach Club. The first port of call for gamers is Hall 2. The latest games and spectacular premieres are waiting to be tried out in several theme worlds agreed on with exhibitors. From roleplay games and strategy classics to action blockbusters, visitors can access the entire range of online gaming. The exhibition section is supplemented by top-quality events and informative special exhibitions. The Germany finals of the World Cyber Games (WCG) and of the Samsung Mobile Challenge promise to be particularly exciting.

The Community Stage is the focus of attention in Hall 4. Through to midnight throughout the fair, there will be concerts with young bands like Karpatenhund, Exilia and Luxuslärm, as well of screenings of recent anime films. In between, communities introduce themselves and their individual profile.

Exhibitions for Families and Retro-Gamers

Things will be a lot quieter in the "Online4Family" area. Parents and their children, teachers, educationalists and gaming beginners can consult five media experts here and find out about the various games and their age suitability. The issue of data protection on the internet and protection against viruses, trojans and worms also plays a big part here.

The "Cult&Creation" section takes a look into the past. Together with the Berlin Computer Game Museum, the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE documents the history of online gaming for the first time. The most important phases and inventions leading to the digital gaming world are shown on the basis of a timeframe. Two protagonists in online game development are also here, so that during the three days of the show, there will be an historic meeting between Ralph H. Baer, inventor of the first video game console, and Richard Bartle, developer of the first multi user online game.

Korea Takes a Look Ahead

Korea is the national partner for the first GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. The forerunner and trendsetter when it comes to online and mobile gaming introduces itself at the trade show with a total of 20 companies. These include giants in this industry such as NHN Games, NCsoft, NEXON, NDOORS, Joymax and Paprika Lab. Bringing with them numerous premieres for Europe, they show visitors the high level of visual resolution already available in their games. In the general public area, the Korean exhibitors are in a pavilion of their own.

Contact for the Press:

Heike Fischer, Director of Press Department

Phone: +49 341 678-8181

Fax: +49 341 678-8182

E-mail: h.fischer@leipziger-messe.de

Torsten Anke, Press Officer

Phone: +49 341 678-8198

Fax: +49 341 678-8182

E-mail: t.anke@leipziger-messe.de

Internet:

www.gamesconvention.com

www.leipziger-messe.de


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