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Record figures at Europe's leading electronic games exhibition

GC (Games Convention)

(24 - 27 August 2006)

32% more exhibitors 13% more space Some 200 world, European and German premières 150,000 visitors expected Over 2,500 journalists from 30 countries in Leipzig Once again GC - Europe's leading exhibition devoted to interactive entertainment, infotainment and edutainment - is opening with some record-breaking figures. A total of 368 exhibitors from 25 countries (up from 280 exhibitors from 15 countries last year) have come to Leipzig to demonstrate their latest products. And the exhibition space has increased to 90,000 square metres.

What's more, the size of the GC Business Center (B2B) - the meeting place for retailers, developers, publishers, manufacturers and service providers - has grown by 30 per cent to 20,000 square metres. All in all, the exhibitors will be showcasing some 200 world, European and German premières.

Says Josef Rahmen, CEO of the Leipzig Fair: "Over the next four days we expect to welcome far more than 150,000 visitors from all over Europe." In 2005, the show drew 136,000 visitors. "As the leading European exhibition in its field, GC is becoming increasingly international. We anticipate for example 7,000 international trade visitors and 2,500 journalists from 30 countries."

Opening concert sold out; address to be held by megastar Will Wright

The opening concert has now become a regular fixture of GC. In fact this will be the fourth time that GC has got underway with a spectacular sell-out concert of computer game soundtracks staged at Leipzig's Gewandhaus concert hall. The famous Prague FILMharmonic Orchestra will be performing on 23 August under the baton of conductor Andy Brick.

Visitors can look forward to a world première performance of Final Fantasy as well as Two Worlds and Anno 1701, not to mention the classic The Revenge of Shinobi. The soundtrack of Castlevania will for the first time be accompanied by soloist Daniela Kosinova on the Gewandhaus's magnificent Schuke organ. The host for the evening is Steven Gätjen, the famous TV presenter known from Pro Sieben.

The opening speech at GC will be held by none other than developer icon Will Wright, the inventor of Sims, SimCity and SPORE, and one of the most successful designers of interactive entertainment anywhere on the planet. "GC has by now become one of the most important shows for interactive entertainment in the world. I'm absolutely thrilled by the prospect of meeting the expected 150,000 fans at the Leipzig Fair. Moreover, I feel very honoured to be holding the speech, in which I plan to put to the audience some of my ideas regarding the future of digital entertainment," says Will Wright.

New section: GC ART

In its fifth year, GC is turning its attention to art. This year the exhibitions Pong.Mythos, Machinima and Digital Beauties/Character Design are being added to the programme, together with a display on the Burg Giebichenstein College of Art and Design in Halle and an artist capturing a motif from Unreal on an area of the pavilion floor 12 square metres in size. As in many areas of GC, visitors can take a hands-on approach here too: each day workshops will be held in the Machinima and Character Design areas, offering interested newcomers the opportunity to take up a new hobby.

For example, GC has teamed up with the Animation in New Media research project to present a machinima gallery and two machinima workshops to show how creative you can be with computer games. In the Games Art section at the exhibition, the comfortable Machinima Lounge provides relaxed viewing of the best machinima films, while the two-day workshops will each give 20 participants an opportunity to produce their own film in the computer game The Movies. The Leipzig project Animation in New Media ( http://www.animationproject.org), involving Dr. Karin Wehn, Dirk Förster and Ingo Linde, has been researching the phenomenon of machinima since 2000. At GC the project organisers plan to examine machinima as comprehensively as possible from both theoretical and practical angles. And they will also give interested beginners a chance to try out this pioneering yet low-cost film technology with guidance from a number of artists and other experts. This project is being presented by local newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung.

Learning media literacy with GC family 2006

Interactive experience combined with playing, fun and information on media literacy are at the heart of GC family - the entertainment, education and knowledge forum for all the family. A new lay-out awaits visitors with a 5,000 square metre 3D board game in which they themselves become the pieces on the board. Signs on the floor and suspended from the ceiling guide visitors into the thematic displays Children/Family Games, Learning and Knowledge, and Media Literacy. The individual exhibitor stands function as 'courts' with children's games, family entertainment, education and knowledge software, computer programs and hardware. The indoor 'board game' is supplemented by activity areas where, for instance, sport is brought back to reality from the virtual world with the whole family being invited to join in.

Developers from all over the world meet up at GCDC

This year's GCDC - Europe's leading developer conference - was even bigger and more international than before. From 21-23 August 2006, it was attended by 600 conference participants who met up with the stars of the developer scene. "Within the past four years, GCDC has established itself as the industry's most important European platform. The number of participants from both Germany and abroad has risen steadily," explains Angela Schierholz.

The main topics this year were the areas of development, business and science, with a special international keynote devoted to each. The speakers included games guru Bob Bates (Chairman IGDA) Don L. Daglow (President, CEO Stormfront Studios) and Peter Molyneux (Lionhead).

The Dome 39 at GC: superstars in Hall 1

This year, RTL 2 and GC have a very special treat in store for visitors. The Dome 39 - the superstars' megaparty - will be held on the Friday (25 August 2006) in Hall 1 at the Leipzig Fair exhibition centre. And it'll be featuring a host of international stars from the worlds of music and show business.

Tickets for The Dome can also be used to enter GC on Friday. To receive their exhibition passes, ticket holders simply need to report to the info counters in the Glass Hall.

Honky Tonk® music festival joins up with GC

On 26 August, all those who fancy shaking a leg after their day at GC will have plenty of opportunity. For the first time during the GC, there'll be a special outing of the legendary Leipzig Honky Tonk® music festival. At around 50 venues as well as on three open-air stages, bands and DJs will be performing live music in a plethora of styles ranging from pop, rock, Latin, funk and beat to soul, jazz and party hits. Full details of the festival are posted on the internet at www.honky-tonk.de.

Fun sport, case modding and auctions

Faster, higher, further: athletic visitors will also be in for a treat at GC at the many fun sport areas and special shows. They include the Formula One simulator, the electric go-kart track, beach volleyball and the halfpipe.

Case modding is tuning of a special kind; instead of cars or musical instruments, interest here centres on PC cases. Following the success of the Casemodding@GC exhibitions over the past three years, visitors to GC will again be able to admire some spectacular conversion jobs. Glowing computers in suitcases, showroom dummies and even working kitchen appliances (!) testify to the virtually limitless inventiveness employed.

On 26 and 27 August, Germany's best case modders will be competing in the 3rd GC CasemodMasters. The competition is being organised by the Leipzig Fair in conjunction with the two biggest community websites in Germany: casemodder.de and easy-mod.de.

"You can get it on eBay" - and it's all for a good cause at this year's GC/eBay Charity Auctions. GC visitors will be feverishly bidding in a series of tense auctions held on the stages of Activision, Nintendo, GIGA Television and Microsoft, where some valuable items put up by the exhibitors will be coming under the hammer. During the closing minutes of the auctions, GC visitors will be bidding against eBay members at home. The proceeds this year will be donated to the Berlin-based charity Verein Arche (Ark Association).

GC 2005: review

In August 2005, 136,000 visitors came to Leipzig to size up 189 European and German premières presented by 280 exhibitors from 15 countries. GC 2005 certainly hit the headlines with some 2,000 journalists from 28 countries (up from 1,700 journalists from 21 countries in 2004) reporting from Europe's leading public exhibition and trade show focusing on interactive entertainment.

Press contact:

Susanne Heusler

Press Spokeswoman

Tel: +49 (0) 341 678 8184

Fax: +49 (0) 341 678 8182

Email: s.heusler@leipziger-messe.de

Exhibitors'/visitors' contact:

Angela Schierholz

Project Director

Tel: +49 (0) 341 678 8281

Fax: +49 (0) 341 678 8282

Email: a.schierholz@leipziger-messe.de

GC on the internet:

http://www.gc-germany.com http://www.leipziger-messe.de ;

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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