The Gamescom, the world's biggest computer and videogame expo by visitor count, has been incurring losses in excess of half a million Euro and is under review, the article claims, which goes on to conclude that the event "failed" and has "flopped". The Gamescom has replaced the Games Convention, which was held in Leipzig, and the article was published in the paper's local Leipzig section. So a degree of exaggeration must be factored in. Also, the newspaper itself - perhaps comparable to USA Today or The Sun - is the subject of some controversy. Here is a translation of the article.
Cologne fails with stolen games fair
Leipzig - In 2009, the computergame fair "Games Convention" moved to Cologne with much fanfare but against the wishes of many exhibitors. Since then, it is known as the "Gamescom" - and has been incurring high losses. Now the stolen expo may even be scrapped altogether.
The reason is an internal review which describes the expo as a "debt-incurring venture." The paper notes a minus of 565.000 Euro for the fair - and advises "to review the strategic necessity of the loss-making event." Even if fair spokesman Franko Fischer says: "The 'Gamescom' exceeds our expectations with positive gross margins."
That may be. But in Cologne, every event is offset against the high rent, which the fair has to pay for its halls. And here, the "Gamescom" has run up a minus of more than half a million Euro.
And Cologne has further problems: Off-the-record, exhibitors are complaining about the high costs (rental fees, accomodation). Also, the industry giants Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega and THQ have already withdrawn from "Gamescom" 2012...
I was able to bring you the exclusive news of Microsoft being a no-show this year, alongside Nintendo, Sega and THQ who cancelled earlier. Also, Sony threatened to cancel and may have received a significant discount to commit to the show after all. Bear in mind that each of the concerned publishers is one of only thirteen members of the German industry association, which made the decision to move to Cologne in the first place. So, it could well be that the association is going to officially withdraw their support for the gamescom after 2012.
As unfortunate as this development is for the industry at large, the Gamescom is indeed facing a potentially fatal crisis.