Tokyo Game Show attendance declines to 185,000

Japan's largest gaming exhibition sees year-over-year population drop off for the first time since switching to annual format in 2002; TGS 2010 dated for next September.

TOKYO--Last year's Tokyo Game Show hit a record-high visitor count that came in just shy of the 200,000-visitor mark. Unfortunately, TGS 2009 did not fare as well. Show organizers the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Organization announced today that this year's attendance fell by almost 10,000 people, dropping from 194,288 in 2008 to 185,030 in 2009.

All those people, packed onto these grounds.

As a breakdown of attendance figures indicates (below), the business days had about the same number of visitors as last year. But the show was hit hard on its public opening day, which is when the most dedicated of Japanese gamers traditionally come in for an early peek at the new games.

Day 1 - 27,435 Visitors (2008: 27,305 Visitors)
Day 2 - 24,605 Visitors (2008: 24,178 Visitors)
Day 3 - 61,138 Visitors (2008: 71,639 Visitors)
Day 4 - 71,852 Visitors (2008: 71,166 Visitors)
Total: 185,030 Visitors (2008: 194,288 Visitors)

What's more, TGS 2009's visitor count signifies the first time that the show's attendance has taken a step backward after it switched to an annual format in 2002. (Prior to 2002, the show occurred on a semiannual basis.) Furthermore, attendance was below that of 2006, when the show was still a three-day event.

The global economic downturn seemed to affect the show's presence of small to midrange publishers. Frequent attendees of this ilk, such as From Software, Irem, and SNK Playmore, did not have booths at this year's show. Other attractions for the visitors, such as freebies and merchandise stores, were also not as prevalent as they have been in years past.

According to show organizers, TGS 2010 will return to Chiba prefecture's Makuhari Messe convention center. CESA is still deciding whether to hold the next show for three or four days. It will start on either September 16 or 17 and run until September 19. TGS 2010 will be the 20th show since its debut back in the summer of 1996.

Visitor attendance for previous Tokyo Game Shows has been as follows:
2007 - 193,040
2006 - 192,411
2005 - 176,056
2004 - 160,096
2003 - 150,089
2002 - 134,042
2001 Fall - 129,626
2001 Spring - 118,080
2000 Fall - 137,400
2000 Spring - 131,708
1999 Fall - 163,866
1999 Spring - 163,448
1998 Fall - 156,455
1998 Spring - 147,913

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Discussion

17 comments
lamprey263
lamprey263

well, last year's games seemed a lot more exciting then the ones coming out now, especially with a lot of them being pushed back until 2010, maybe this has something to do with the decline of attendance

gamestop27
gamestop27

Does the economy mean nothing to the peopele who make articles like this.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Maybe it was the lack of new games that made people not want to go...

SuperNecro
SuperNecro

Wow, they make this sound like some drastic decline in people. 10,000 people, really? That's all? When you see a decline of 50k and more, then make an article about it.

JDWolfie
JDWolfie

Well, I'm not surprised. Nintendo has its own expo/conference and the only other ones there are pretty much Microsoft and Sony. Japenese don't really care about Microsoft so.. that leaves Sony.

XenoLair
XenoLair

Next year will be better!

Deranged_Devil
Deranged_Devil

It was only 10,000 people? Not like a dramatic decline, I mean there are other reason why people don't attend certain events...video games isn't the only thing in the world. Even if they are awesome =].

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

I blame too many sequels and not enough good product.

kamizuka
kamizuka

guss they were to busy to go....

nVidiaGaMer
nVidiaGaMer

When I saw the title I thought last years attendance was closer to 250,000.

jmartinez1983
jmartinez1983

They make it sound like half as many people went when only about 9000 fewer went. That's only a 5% decrease when fluctuations in attendance made bigger leaps, and more severe withdrawals before. So this gets a big MEH for trying to find something when there is nothing.

Shawcross
Shawcross

Well it could be a lot of factors that go into the public not going to the show. For all we know a lot of the Japanese hardcore gamers had to work or couldn't get their parents to take them to the show. Plus probably with the economy the way it is a lot more foreigners decided not to travel to Japan. If they are like me they can just come to websites like Gamespot and others to find out what the new games/info coming out of the show is for a much cheaper price.

warrner11
warrner11

of course attendance fell, with our financial fiasco most of us Americans aint got the C'notes necessary for Globetrotting.