Nokia has issued a blunt warning to the British industry to stop putting on competing trade shows in London and give the industry "another Live", harking back to the days of large consumer games events in the UK.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at the Game Convention Developers Conference in Leipzig, Germany, ahead of the start of the Game Convention consumer show today, Nokia's global marketing manager, Kamar Shah, accused those responsible for the dual trade-show situation in London last year of stifling the industry in general.
"I wouldn't say there's a decline in the shows in London, I'd say there are too many," he said. "After the slow decline of ECTS, last year we had two events - ECTS and EGN - on opposite sides of London, the most expensive city in the world. Even with organisations like ourselves, it was still financially and physically quite difficult, and it stretched us. How you can say we're building an industry when you do that? How do smaller developers survive? ... If you want to grow this industry, stop putting shows on at the same time."
Nokia was one of the sponsors of the recently successful EIEF event in Edinburgh, and while London is gearing up to again host two trade-only shows this autumn - Games Market Europe and GDCE are currently readying for action - there is still no consumer event in the UK following the demise of Game Stars Live after only one show: it was cancelled this year following a lack of support from major publishers.
"I think we need to be objective in the way we approach the industry," Shah added. "Developers need certain information, publishers need certain information, and the consumers need to know about the products. I don't think there are any successful consumer shows any more in the UK. From the days of Live all those years ago, others have just come and gone.
"The UK market is huge and it's one of the biggest markets in terms of consumers, so yes, we do need one. But we need everyone to get on board, whether it be a big media sponsor or a big media outlet. We're fighting for all that consumer time... Give us another Live."
German consumer event and trade show Game Convention has risen in prominence in the last two years and has attracted major attention for 2005, with key announcements expected today from both Microsoft and Sony.
Shah spoke yesterday on cross-platform development ahead of today's media showing and the start of the consumer show proper tomorrow.