Last year, the Tokyo Game Show saw its first drop in attendance since it switched to an annual format in 2002, falling from 194,288 in 2008 to 185,030 in 2009. Even worse, there were fewer visitors than in 2006, when the game expo--Asia's largest--was only a three-day event. According to a report on Japan Today, TGS's organizers at the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Organization--Japan's game lobby--are expecting only 180 exhibitors and "about" 180,000 attendees at this year's show.
Modest expectations aside, CESA appears to be expanding TGS 2010 beyond the prior year's event. Over the weekend, the body ended speculation that the expo might be scaled back to three days by locking down its dates. It will begin on Thursday, September 16, and end on Sunday, September 19--one month after Europe's biggest expo, GamesCom. It will once again be held in the cavernous Makuhari Messe convention center outside Tokyo.
CESA is also reportedly planning a two-pronged attack to lure more business visitors to the show's industry-only first half and its general-admission finale. To court the former group, show organizers are creating an all-new forum that will offer presentations by and discussions between Asian game analysts and high-level industry players. (Think the DICE Summit of the east.)
To lure more general-admission attendees, CESA plans on joining forces with unnamed travel agencies to promote trips to TGS across Asia. The event also draws gaming press from all over the world, including a sizable contingent of GameSpot editors--as evidenced by last year's extensive coverage.