Monday, February 25, 2008

Games Convention to relocate in 2009

The German ´Games Convention´, Europe´s largest computer and videogame expo, will relocate to Cologne. This August, the event will be held in Leipzig for the last time.

The event will be renamed to ´GAMESCom´, the German industry organization, the Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e.V. (BIU), confirmed in a press release today. The most likely reason for the new name is that the Leipzig expo company holds all the rights to the current name and logo.

The Cologne expo company, Koelnmesse, also issued a press release:

The decision on the new location of the leading trade fair in the interactive entertainment industry has been made. As of 2009, the new central sector platform GAMESCom will be held at the Cologne exhibition center. This was announced by Olaf Wolters, Executive Director of the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU), and Oliver P. Kuhrt, Executive Vice President of Koelnmesse GmbH, today at a press conference in Berlin.

“We are hugely looking forward to staging the leading trade fair in the games industry at the Cologne exhibition center in future. It is our objective to establish the sector platform in cooperation with the BIU as a top European event“, explained Kuhrt. GAMESCom will take place for the first time at the Koelnmesse’s exhibition center from September 9 to 13, 2009, and subsequently on an annual basis.

Just to give you some idea of why the fair is to relocate: Like the American equivalent, the ESA, the BIU is composed of all the big industry players. Electronic Arts, still the world´s largest publisher, is likely to have been the driving force behind this change, since EA Germany is based in Cologne.

A contract between the BIU and the Leipzig expo company ends this year. So, as of 2009, the BIU will refuse to cooperate with the Games Convention in Leipzig and, instead, pledge its support to the Cologne-based GAMESCom.

Avid readers of this blog will not be surprised by today´s news. I exclusively revealed that the show was to relocate to either Frankfurt or Cologne last July. In fact, the fair was supposed to relocate already in 2008.

Sources: BIU, Koelnmesse
Thanks to: F.A.Z. (German)


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