GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE
(31 July - 2 August 2009)
Leipzig, 02 August 2009
GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE came to an end today after three days filled with games, premiers and E-sport competitions. The world's first fair for browsers, clients and mobile games attracted a total of 43,000 gamers to Leipzig. When we caught up with Wolfgang Marzin, Chairman of the Board of Management at the Leipzig Trade Fair, he said "90 percent of the visitors were on-line gamers, which means that we reached just the target group the sector was expecting. Our exhibitors were very satisfied with the visitor structure, which has laid the foundation for GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. Everything for GCO 2010 is headed for growth." The official exhibitor survey launched by the Institute for Market Research during the fair indicates that just under 90 percent of exhibitors announced they were going to attend in 2010 again and would even recommend GCO to others.
A total of 74 exhibitors from eight countries unveiled their wares on 40,000 square meters and the 150 games showcased included 50 world premiers and European premiers. The Republic of Korea was the partner country of the first GCO.
The GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE is shaping the debate by appearing simultaneously on the Leipzig exhibition grounds and in Internet. But that's not all. During the fair, visitors were able to follow the goings-on in Leipzig on their home computer with live streams, web TV, Internet radio, a weblog and the fair's own forum. Exhibitors offered premium accounts with special benefits for the games the exhibited. GCO's website was accessed 500,000 times beyond the generous usage of the exhibitor portals. This is the reason why Wolfgang Marzin concluded that "the digital age has reached the fair system. It is just as important to our exhibitors that people are in tune on site and in global access Internet."
Exhibitors Meet and Surpass Expectations
The success of the first GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE is very important to the GCO exhibitors. It was not only the large number of business meetings in the Business Center that was highlighted, but also the resonance from the audience at the auditoriums. But, they were also gratified by the enormous media presence in advance of and during GCO as witnessed by the fact that 530 journalists from eleven countries got accreditation for the fair.
Philip Yun, CEO of NHN USA, goes on record as saying that "Leipzig's GCO was a major success for NHN and ijji.com because we were able to attract a lot of attention to our titles, including Huxley: the Dystopia. We also had a lot of talks with a whole series of world-class representatives from the European industry. That's why we are looking forward to transforming initial contacts into long-term business relationships."
Pyung-Hee Kim, the Director General of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), confirmed that the exhibitors of our partner country Korea felt right at home at GCO: "No other fair appreciates the Korean game industry as much as GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE. Our companies conducted as many as 600 business meetings in Leipzig, which is much more than we expected from this fair. That's why we'll be sure to attend GCO in 2010."
German companies also full of praise. Heiko Hubertz, founder and CEO Bigpoint GmbH, also remarked that "our stand at the Business Center was definitely worth-while. It met our expectations and we felt the first GCO was very professional. We're in favour of specialising in on-line and mobile games, which is why we're looking forward to 2010."
Klaas Kersting, the CEO of Gameforge AG, voiced the opinion that "GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE showed that a fair specialising in on-line games was long overdue - there was good reason for Gameforge to proactively support the idea. Our gamers came from 23 countries to get to know Gameforge, our games and team players. But the fair was also worth while in terms of business - we will be able to make a lot of contacts and even land some great deals right here."
Patrick Streppel, CEO of gamigo AG, said, "We're very happy with the fair because we were able to carry on very useful B2B talks. It was also important that we were able to get in contact with gamers directly. We are looking forward to next year."
The Institute for Market Research took a survey that stated that 96 percent of exhibitors met the targets they had set themselves ahead of time at GCO.
Most GCO Visitors Come from the Core Target Group
Just a quick look at statistics indicates that the idea behind GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE chimed with the gamers. A visitor survey indicated that 86 percent also want to visit GCO next year, even if means coming from farther away. 53 percent of the persons surveyed came to Leipzig from more than 100 kilometres away. It was obvious that the favourite games among the persons surveyed were role plays and action games. More than two-thirds said they use these games most frequently. The favourite game-playing device of 90 percent of fair visitors is the computer, which means that GCO reached the core target group of the on-line gaming sector.
The numerous community games at the GCO unleashed a wave of excitement. A lot of clans and guilds took the fair as an opportunity to get to know one another better beyond the virtual world. Gameforge set up a tent city for 700 members of their game communities outside. There was a major programme of entertainment including gamer communities, bands playing, raffles, a cosplay competition and the Clan and Gildenpage Awards.
The 150 best E-athletes fought on to late Saturday afternoon for the national title in the German finals of the World Cyber Games. In the end, 19 of them were able to qualify for the national team and get one of the coveted slots for the grand final in Chengdu, China in November. That includes the youngest German gamer who has ever qualified for a world final to date, the 14-year-old Anton Emmerich from Munich, Germany. Beyond this, two winners of the Samsung Mobile Championships were also there for the first time, both of whom visited GCO in Leipzig.
Finally, the creativity of the gamers was measured with the GCO Modding Masters where 15 contestants each unveiled their tuned or self-designed computers in the categories of casemods and casecons.
Conference Predicts a Burgeoning Mass Market
Representatives from the private economy, research and policymaking met at the first international dialogue conference, the GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE CONFERENCE, on the first two days of Games Convention Online. 100 experts and other persons attending the discussion put the status quo, the future of the on-line and mobile games subcontractor and its social significance under the microscope.
No one disputed that on-line and mobile games are gaining ground because the present technical situation enables a whole series of users to participate in games. However, this market is just beginning in spite of the burgeoning growth rates and corresponding sales. Everybody there believed that present users are the early adaptors, meaning people who are curious enough to try out something new. The real mass market is still ahead for the sector.
Simultaneously, these technologies and this infrastructure offer small developer studios outstanding opportunities for entering the market. It is amazingly easy to enter this promising market with new platforms that developers can independently offer people the possibility of using their games on. New business models, revenue structures, new ground-breaking service strategies and new technical developments offer companies in this sector a wide range of opportunities for developing a profitable and sustainable business.
The next GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE will be taking place in summer of 2010 at Leipzig's exhibition grounds.
Contact for the Press:
Heike Fischer, Director of Press Department
Phone: +49 341 678-8181
Fax: +49 341 678-8182
Torsten Anke, Press Officer
Phone: +49 341 678-8198
Fax: +49 341 678-8182