The London games show triple event of Game Stars Live, European Games Network and European Developers Forum has confirmed dates for its 2005 events, as attendance figures for this year's shows are announced.
EGN and EDF 2005 will run from August 31st to September 2nd, 2005 (Wednesday through to Friday once again), while Game Stars Live will run from August 31st to September 4th. All three events will once again be at the ExCeL centre in London's Docklands.
Figures for this year's shows, released today, show that Game Stars Live topped 51,400 attendees across the five days of the event, with Saturday being the busiest day, as over 17,000 visitors crossed the threshold of the show.
Although the numbers - which include the fairly substantial free list for the event - fall somewhat short of the 80,000 to 100,000 figures which were being touted by London Event Co and ELSPA at one point, they are still an impressive set of figures for a debut show - and represent the single largest debut for a UK gaming expo ever.
One of the previous largest events in the UK, Sony's PlayStation Experience at Earls Court, reached around 35,000 attendees last year. Sony chose not to exhibit at Game Stars Live this year, and is instead running another PlayStation Experience event at Alton Towers, outside London, later this month.
"We're absolutely thrilled with these figures," according to Kristy Adams, who is event director of all three shows - GSL, EGN and EDF. "With over 50,000 people enjoying the very best that gaming has to offer, we really achieved our goals of hosting the greatest trade and consumer shows this country has ever seen."
In terms of the trade events, EGN attracted 3,700 delegates - made up of 1,400 invited VIPs, 1,500 paying delegates and 800 members of the press, while the EDF developer conference - considered by many to be the weakest aspect of the event, since it was conceived only three months in advance - managed to attract 260 developer delegates.
While the figures for EGN are significantly lower than those published by ECTS in previous years, it's worth noting that ECTS has traditionally had a large number of attendees with no connection to the industry, as entry to the event is free and little if any pre-vetting of attendees is performed.
"EGN was always about the quality of delegates," explained ELSPA director general Roger Bennett, "and it certainly delivered... The theme of 'getting back to business' was widely embraced and we know that delegates found the event very productive and relevant."
"We look forward to welcoming the whole industry and its consumers to ExCeL next year," Bennett concluded, "so get those dates in your diaries now."