GAME is bringing back its consumer expo between August 26th and 29th.
That's just four weeks before rival event EGX, and it is also taking place in the same venue - Birmingham NEC.
However, unlike the last GAME Fest (which was also the first one) in 2011, this year's event will form part of Insomnia58 - the eSports and games festival that is run by GAME-owned Multiplay.
Insomnia58 has always had a small expo element to it, and this GAME Fest brand suggests an effort to make that bigger. Insomnia58 and GAME Fest will also likely benefit from a tie-in with GAME's store manager's conference, which will take place during the same period.
GAME is selling tickets to Insomnia58 via its stores, and says it will have a retail shop in the centre of GAME Fest, to encourage consumers to pre-order the products that they might discover during the event.
We're delighted to confirm the return of one of the most loved consumer video game events,” GAME CEO Martyn Gibbs.
With Insomnia Gaming Festivals now firmly established at the NEC, the addition of GAME Fest, will further strengthen our community engagement and offer the best games first, as part of the UK's largest gaming event.
Insomnia58 combined with GAME Fest, will be the largest gaming celebration the UK has ever seen, rightfully putting the UK back on the global map for consumer video games events. We're delighted to deliver a show built for consumers, backed by incredible content created by our partners, and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of fans from across the country.”
GAME Fest first took place in 2011 before the retailer entered administration. Since then, the firm has backed other consumer shows but has resisted resurrecting its GAME Fest brand. After acquiring event firm (and Insomnia organiser) Multiplay in 2015 for 20m, Gibbs said GAME is looking at significantly growing its event business.
It has already expanded Insomnia to the NEC, and is now launching Insomnia events in Scotland, Ireland and in other international markets.
Since GAME Fest in 2011, EGX has established itself as the UK's leading video games consumer show. Following the closure of Earls Court last year, the MCV Award winning event was forced to move to Birmingham NEC, and enjoyed one of its most successful shows to-date.