Cologne's GamesCom industry trade show has just changed its dates to overlap precisely with those of rival German expo Games Convention in Leipzig.
Trade association Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (BIU) rescheduled its 2009 GamesCom from September to August 19 to 23, the same dates as Leipzig Games Convention.
"GamesCom belongs to the entire industry and should enjoy as much acceptance as possible," says BIU board spokesman Klemens Kundratitz. "This is why we took reservations voiced by the trade and a number of companies regarding scheduling the trade fair in September very seriously."
"The advantages and disadvantages of holding the trade fair in September were discussed in detail during a number of constructive discussions with industry participants.”
Announced earlier this year
by the BIU and Cologne's trade fair business Koelnmesse, GamesCom was supposed to support Cologne and replace Games Convention in Germany, with 2008 intended as the last year the Leipzig show would be held.
After this year's expo, however, Leipzig Trade Fair CEO Wolfgang Marzin announced
that Games Convention will return next year, pointing to a recent poll which indicated that over 82 percent of private visitors voted that they wanted to see the expo in Leipzig in 2009.
Although widely attended by publishers (with the notable exception of Nintendo this year), the Games Convention has been criticized by international visitors for its lacking transport links to Leipzig, particularly by air.
While GamesCom's rescheduled date seems like an obvious move to supplant Games Convention, Kundratitz maintains that it was the video game companies who asked for the August move. “Ultimately, the voices opposing the date in September were louder than those in favour of it, which is why we worked on a solution that benefits all industry participants," he says.