GamesCom 2009 pulls in 245,000 attendees

Premiere of the Cologne-based games convention sees unprecedented turnout, pulling in 42K more than its 2008 Leipzig predecessor.


Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Two years ago, Germany's Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (German Federal Association for Entertainment Software) announced it would secede from Leipziger Messe's yearly Games Convention and would form its own Cologne-based summit, GamesCom, in 2009. One of the reasons it gave was that the convention's host city, Leipzig, was too small and inaccessible for a popular international venue. The organization argued that the East German city barely housed the 185,000 attendees in 2007. With 245,000 attendees at the premiere of GamesCom this year, the record-breaking crowd would be enough to congest most any metropolis.

The PlayStation 3 Slim leaves its emblematic mark on Cologne.
The PlayStation 3 Slim leaves its emblematic mark on Cologne.

Today, the BIU announced the convention--which included 458 exhibiting companies from 31 countries--is now the "largest game trade fair in the world," with an additional 100,000 people attending GamesCom-related events outside the trade fairgrounds. By comparison, last year's 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig attracted 203,000.

Following a standoff between the BIU and Leipziger Messe that ended in January 2009, the latter canceled its Games Convention and launched a new show titled Games Convention Online, which focused on mobile, casual, and browser-based games. The premiere expo ran from July 31 to August 2 and pulled in 43,000, according to the organizers.

GamesCom 2009 saw the announcement of the long-rumored PlayStation 3 Slim and Microsoft's role-playing sequel Fable III. The convention also handed out its own awards for showcased games, with Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty winning best-of-show all around. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves won among console titles, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks won for mobile games, Aion won for online titles, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 won among PC games. The BIU also announced that GamesCom 2010 will run from August 18-22 next year.

For more information on GamesCom 2009, be sure to check out GameSpot's convention coverage.

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