The Leipzig Games Convention has officially been canceled, but there's still a reason to go to Leipzig this year: Games Convention Online!
Games Convention was the biggest videogame trade show of 2008, but its future has been in doubt ever since BIU, the German videogame publishers' trade association, announced plans to throw its support behind GamesCOM, a new show being held this year in Cologne. At the time, Wolfgang Marzin, CEO of trade fair organizer Leipziger Messe, vowed the show would go on, but in light of the lack of support from BIU, whose members include major players like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, the decision has now been made to drop the Games Convention from the calendar.
But all is not lost for Leipzig! Games Convention may be gone, but from July 31 to August 2 the trade fair will host Games Convention Online, Europe's first independent trade show for client, browser-based and mobile gaming.
"The Games Convention Online provides an independent platform of its own for the most dynamic growth market in the gaming industry," said Marzin. "On the Asian market, a third of the population already regularly plays online games. In Germany too, the final barriers are being broken down with the rapid spread of fast broadband connections and mobile wireless connection standards."
The event will be split into two sections, one for members of the industry and the other open to the public. Along with the usual addresses and conferences, Games Convention Online will stay true to its name by hosting an online event in conjunction with the show. "This means that millions of gamers are linked in on the internet and can take part in the Games Convention Online in Leipzig live," Marzin said. "The Games Convention Online will host tens of thousands of visitors in Leipzig, and several million in the whole world." Special events for gamers are also planned, including a series of competitions leading up to the show which will see the winners brought in to play online against other gamers.
"This is a completely new and fully independent product for a market that is adjusting to new business models, setting off along new sales routes and appealing to new target groups," Marzin continued. "Browser, client and mobile games are on course to becoming a big success story and in that way, the Games Convention Online is like the GC - Games Convention when it first began. We are delighted that as trade fair organizers, we can again accompany this development too."