This year’s Gamescom is to be the biggest in the event’s five-year history, making it one of the most significant gatherings on the global games industry calendar.
Coupled with sister event GDC Europe, Gamescom today jostles with E3 for status; something unimaginable when the conference replaced Leipzig’s Games Convention all those years ago. Some of you may even be reading this as you stand in Gamescom’s throbbing halls.
Look around you, and it’s hard to argue that the show is not rising to the very top of the food chain of industry events. Bolstered by the activity around PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Gamescom is for its 2013 iteration welcoming over 600 companies from 40 countries. 275,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, including some 24,500 from within the games industry.
And this year UK trade association UKIE is taking a bigger-than-ever realisation of its UK Games Pavilion to Gamescom, so as to promote the diversity and strength of its homeland’ s games sector.
ALL AROUND THE WORLD
Previously the UKIE Games Pavilion has occupied floor space at Parisian show Game Connection, San Francisco’s GDC, and former Gamescom gatherings. As with every year previously, for 2013 it will offer a base for UK studios in Gamescom’s Business Area, which serves as the beating heart of the expo’s industry element. For 2013 some 40 games companies have a presence at the UK Games Pavilion, which showcases the diversity and quality of titles made in the UK.
Those involved will be supported with networking and promotional opportunities, some having already received help from UK government’s Trade & Investment department, which assists UK games businesses in attending overseas trade shows and developing international business links.
“This means that companies can access competitively priced exhibitor packages from UKIE, giving them a hassle free and cheaper solution than if they went alone,” explains Sam Collins, head of commercial at UKIE.
“Also, as the appointed partner for UKTI, UKIE can access grants for UK businesses which, in some cases, means they can secure exhibitor space for free. This means that we’ve saved UK games businesses £45,000 in exhibiting costs on the UK stand at Gamescom.”
Glance at the list of companies involved (see UKIE’s UK 42 below), and you’ll notice developers, outsourcing specialists, tech outfits, publishers, service providers, recruiters, distributors and legal firms. It’s an impressive rostrum, and one that demonstrates that the United Kingdom remains home to a diverse range of companies within the games sector, from youthful start-ups to industry legends.
Of course, Gamescom is about more than 42 companies. But the rest of the conference’s thousands of industry visitors would do well to visit the UK Games Pavilion, where they can network and do business with many of the United Kingdom’s industry stars.
“Anyone is welcome to visit the stand, which will be fully managed by UKIE staff,” says Collins. “And make sure that you come along to our networking drinks receptions on the stand every evening, courtesy of UKTI and Scottish Development International.”
He later adds: “UKIE staff will be on hand to talk about future overseas trade events and how you can get involved.
“And UKTI representatives will be on the stand to discuss specific overseas trade support. And finally, enjoy a free drink and conversation with other like minded businesses at our daily drinks receptions.”
The UK Games Pavilion itself will be in Business Hall 4.2, a central location free from the teeming crowds of public attendees, at stand number A018-B019.
“Ours will be the stand covered in the highly visible GREAT campaign livery,” offers Collins.
“We are delighted to be supporting this international trade campaign highlighting the UK as a destination place for innovation, technology and creativity.”
And based on last year’s UK Pavilion at Gamescom, draped as it was in Union Jacks and equipped with free jam scones, you can also expect plenty of character and a bit of fun. Certainly, for anybody passing through the Business Hall it should prove an essential calling point.
UKIE’S UK 42
At the time of writing, the 42 games companies with a presence at UKIE’s Gamescom UK Pavilion are:
Born Ready Games
Dead Good Media
Drop Dead Interactive
Four Door Lemon
IT World Services
Rising Star Games
Scottish Development International (SDI)