Games Convention bows out to GamesCom

After a long stalemate, Leipziger Messe has announced a new casual games convention, leaving Germany's BUI to go ahead with its pan-European show in Cologne.

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Back in early 2007, Germany's Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (German Federal Association for Entertainment Software) announced it would break away from Leipziger Messe's annual Games Convention and go it alone with its own Cologne-based games summit, GamesCom, in 2009.

Despite having the unanimous backing from its members (a veritable who's who of the industry, including heavyweights Activision, EA, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and more), the BUI's move wasn't enough to deter the Leipziger Messe, which declared that Games Convention 2009 would be going ahead as usual.

After a Mexican standoff between the two organisations, both vying for the attention of international publishers, the press, and a trade show audience, Leipziger Messe has confirmed that it has decided to cancel its plans for Games Convention 2009 and instead launch a new show titled Games Convention Online, focusing on casual and mobile games.

According to Leipziger Messe CEO Wolfgang Marzin, "Browser, client, and mobile games are on course to becoming a big success story, and in that way, the Games Convention Online is like the Games Convention when it first began. We are delighted that as trade fair organisers, we can again accompany this development too."

Marzin also said, "In view of the new situation in terms of competition on the German trade fair market, Leipziger Messe would be dropping the Games Convention from the 2009 calendar," which was due to run from August 20 to 23. Despite this, Marzin pointed out that "Leipziger Messe was still open to the entire gaming industry: If the industry is again in search of a platform for console and PC games and hardware with the know-how of the Games Convention, we will immediately be available."

One of the reasons to move the show, according to BUI CEO Olaf Wolters, was that "the hotels in Leipzig and the surrounding areas were completely packed out, and another problem was the lack of international flights to the region." Leipzig is a less accessible area of former East Germany, whereas Cologne is roughly a half hour's train ride north of the former capital of West Germany, Bonn, on the Rhine river.

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