Gamer Network has confirmed that EGX, the UK gaming expo, will be returning to London, UK, on October 17th - 20th, 2019.
Despite holding the event in the more central location of Birmingham for the last four years, the team says they have "listened to [their] fans" and are "bringing the event back home" to the capital. This will be the first time the event will head to the docklands-based ExCel, but Gamer Network's parent company ReedPOP - which also owns the PAX events in the US and Australia - has returned to the venue a number of times for its sister expo event, MCM.
As a thank you to the gaming community in Birmingham, Solihull, and surrounding areas, Gamer Network will be offering a time-limited ticket discount for fans from those locations in recognition of "their continued support in helping us curate and deliver the best gaming event in the UK". It also insists it is "working to provide gamers from this region who attended EGX this year a transportation solution to and from London for EGX 2019 as a thank you for their support of the show, and for helping it grow over the last 4 years during its time outside of the capital".
"We are thrilled to be bringing EGX home," said David Lilley, Gamer Network's event director. "Moving back to London means we can grow all elements of the show and add new content and features that we know our fans desire, making this an unmissable outing for gamers and the UK games industry."
The announcement has drawn criticism from some who purport that this is another example of the "London-centric" industry failing to make events accessible for people right across the country.
"I love London - it's a much more fun place to be," tweeted Katie Goode, creative director at Triangular Pixel. "But for a single event it's a lot more cost to devs for time and for money costs. But let us ignore the data of 49,134,466 people can access the NEC in under a 3 hour drive in comparison to 43,773,622 for ExCeL."
"I generally thought EGX crew was thinking ahead when they moved to [Birmingham]. Was such a good idea, so much easier for the rest of the UK to get to. Some people now even saying it's easier and cheaper to get to gamescom!"
"[It] bump[s] up your accommodation costs too," added developer Byron Atkinson-Jones. "Last time I exhibited in London I had to get a hotel more then [sic] 5 miles away which meant a taxi ride there and back each day."
But others purport that returning the event to London makes it easier for international developers to attend. "As someone watching from outside the EU (US, East Coast) an ~160km change is nothing and something people day-trip, sometimes regularly. London is nearly 40% cheaper than Birmingham flights," added Joe Radak.
Gamer Network has also confirmed that EGX Berlin will take place at Station Berlin on November 1st - 3rd, 2019.
EGX Rezzed 2019 will also take place in London from April 4th - 6th. Now in its eighth year, the annual event will return to London’s Tobacco Dock, which has hosted Rezzed since 2015. Over 200 individual games are expected to be playable at the event, with games on PC and across all console platforms. It will also see the return of the popular Leftfield Collection, which allows games that fall outside of the mainstream the chance to find an audience among attendees of the event.