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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Gamescome Impessions - Business Area

It took us a while to write Part II about Gamescome 2011. In Part I, Gamescome Impessions - Entertainment Area, we briefly described how things went in the Entertainment area. This part is about the business area, the main purpose of our attendance at Gamescome.

Business area occupied four Halls, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, and 5.2. The Halls 5.1 and 5.2 were fully occupied by large mighty publishers. Some of them, especially large ones, such as Activision, EA, THQ, and several others have built massive structures in the halls. Large endless walls in their stands. These structures looked like pretty much buildings. What was happening inside those walls one could see only if having an appointment and an access to enter behind those walls. I knocked one of the walls, didn't seem carton more seems like thin concrete. Buildings inside buildings!

Halls 4.1 and  4.2 were occupied by everybody else. These made most sense for us to visit. There is no need to visit Gamescome to learn about EA, Konami, Activision, Ubisoft, or THQ. Major reason for us to attend Gamescome was to find new business opportunities, that's why we spent most of our time in Hall 4.1 and 4.2. These two halls were the most relevant for a wholesale trader and a distributor like us, yet unfortunately there were modest and small compared to some other halls.

We had a number of very useful meetings with publishers, and few other distributors who were present at the show. There were a number of companies from the UK. The UK Trade and Investment Agency had a large presence at Gamescome, promoting UK game industry. There were many companies from Western Europe of course, including Italy, France, and of course Germany, the host country of the trade show. Even in Halls 4.1 and 4.2, which were planned for companies other than publishers, there was still significant number of them.

One of the biggest disappointments was finding almost no retail companies at the show. Let's think about this. Who sells video games and consoles to end users? Retailers do. The developers, publishers, distributors, wholesalers, they will all sell nothing unless there is retail. Most of these companies are ultimately interested in linking with retailers. Take a look at the halls: publisher, developers, publishers, oh, look there is a distributor! Again publishers, publishers, publishers... no retailers.

Still, these, one-or-two-times-a-year gatherings are hugely useful. They allow people to meet, discuss, negotiate, get to know each other. Many important meetings happen in the evenings at a beer or dinner, in less formal atmosphere. Much business is discussed and negotiated during such gatherings. In general, we find trade shows useful indeed, especially a one of the scale of Gamescome.


  1. Very interesting, thank you for a good post. I attended Gamescome last year, and tend to agree with topic starter, especially regarding the big publishers. I couldn't get any appointments with the publishers, and I don't see any point for them meeting with the same big important guys who they usually meet during the regular business. I think a trade show should be an opportunity for some others also to get a meeting with them, otherwise I don't see the point. Anyway, I didn't go to Gamescome this year, as if I can't meet the businesses that I am interested, then what's the point to spend over hundred quid on the air ticket, another two hundred for the hotel, the ticket to the business area, etc.