ECTS and GDCE future unclear

[UPDATE] CMPi support for London trade show and its companion game developers conference fuzzy; GDCE "not yet officially canceled" say sources close to CMP in North America.


[UPDATE] Sources at CMP Media in the US today alerted GameSpot News that the future of ECTS, SCoRE, and GDCE have not yet been decided by the shows' organizer, CMP Information (CMPi), based in the UK. The story referred to below from CMP-owned Gamasutra has been removed from the Gamasutra site pending a statement from CMPi or additional clarification. The original GameSpot News story is below; it will be updated when new information is received. [end update text]

April 8--The European game industry suffered the loss of yet another game trade show today. Last week, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), a major UK trade organization, reportedly canceled what would have been the second consumer-focused Game Zone Live (known last year as Game Stars Live).

Today, it was the long-standing ECTS trade show--first held in 1998--that was canceled. While no official word of the cancellation was communicated by CMP Corporate, news of the show's demise was carried on the CMP-owned Gamsutra Web site.

Lat year, the seeds of ECTS's demise were sown by upstart EGN, a new trade show backed by ELSPA and held at precisely the same time as ECTS--on the opposite side of London.

Torn between supporting ECTS or EGN, most publishers and other game industry concerns put their resources toward the latter, which was staged alongside Game Stars Live in the sprawling ExCeL conference center in London's Docklands. CMP-owned Gamasutra went so far today as to call last year's ECTS "a shadow of its former self." The writing was on the wall to even the most casual observer--a discussion of the obvious flight from ECTS formed a significant part of GameSpot's EGN/ECTS coverage last year.

In addition to ECTS' demise, Game Developers Conference Europe was canned. The event had been a smaller version of the American GDC and had been a companion event to ECTS for years. In addition to the cancellation of ECTS and GDCE, news that the CMP-backed independent retail show SCoRE had been canceled was widely reported.

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