The vast German consumer and trade video game show Gamescom has not been shaken by Microsoft’s decision to miss the 2012 event.
In a statement issued to MCV, organiser Koelnmesse says the event is still ‘on track, demonstrating stability and growth despite the difficult market situation’.
Instead, the organisers say an increasingly diverse set of exhibitors, with less of the ‘traditional’ games industry on hand, is down to "a transitional year" in the industry.
Microsoft earlier today confirmed it would not be exhibiting at Gamescom, which is put together in association with German trade body BIU. Fellow BIU members Sega, THQ and Nintendo have also opted out of the show this year, but Microsoft is also missing Tokyo Game Show 2012.
But any cancellations from bigger companies have been offset by new attendance promised from 60 new exhibitors.
And that includes the backing of Samsung, which will exhibit at Gamescom this year. Samsung, in case you need reminding, is the biggest electronics manufacturer in the world.
Koelnmesse’s statement said: "The games industry is evidently in a transitional year prior to the forthcoming next generation of consoles. Several companies have therefore opted to implement individual marketing measures this year. This is compounded by the publication of revenue figure of other companies as well as other firms with new products that are only scheduled to come into the shops after the 2012 Christmas trade.
"This correspondingly affects the participation in the trade show of individual companies in Cologne as well as in other places where games shows are held, such as Los Angeles or Tokyo."
Gamescom’s organisers have, since the show’s inception, strived to make its offering – which includes a business lounge for the trade and hugely popular halls for consumers – varied and representative of the total games market. That means PC and console games, online games and browser games, plus new spaces for social and mobile gaming added this year.
"This is having a favourable effect on the event," says Koelnmesse, and it has stats to prove it:
– The number of exhibitors so far is up 20 per cent year on year.
– 370 companies from more than 30 nations have confirmed their participation.
– There are 13 country-specific shared stands – including Hungary and Austria for the first time this year.
– The event floor space is up 15 per cent to 140,000 square metres
Gamescom has a dedicated press event on June 28th that will be livestreamed online, and which the organisers say will name even more new exhibitors.
And anyway, Koelnmesse added: "Even if Microsoft does not have a stand of its own this year, the gaming community can nevertheless look forward to Xbox 360 games and games developed by countless Microsoft partners at Gamescom."
Gamescom takes place from August 15th to 19th. The first day is for trade visitors and the show is open to consumers from August 16th.