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World Cyber Games

Gaming

Celebrations in Cologne and disappointment in Leipzig. The Games Convention exhibition has outgrown its beginnings and needs more: more and bigger hotels, a better infrastructure and an inspirational cultural environment. The exhibition called GAMESCom not least also wants to benefit from a close proximity to the big names in the gaming industry. A move to the new mecca of this industry, now on the Rhine, makes sense.

The Managing Director of the game developer association, G.A.M.E., Stephan Reichert, sums it up: »The important producers are here.« The world’s most important games publisher, Electronic Arts, for example, has its German branch in Cologne since 2001 and developed, with »Fifa 07«, »Need for Speed Carbon« and »Die Sims 2 Haustiere«, successful games.
Turtle Entertainment GmbH is another big name publisher based in Cologne which operates, with the Electronic Sports League, Europe’s biggest league for computer game players. With its league website, www.esl.eu, it’s also involved in pay and IP TV business.

City plays its way to the top

On the other side, RTL Television also founded, in August 2007, its own games operator in Cologne with RTL Games. There are, in fact, a total of around 30 game developer studios in NRW whereby it is particularly the industry’s big names which are drawn to the Rhine.

Cologne has great appeal for games industry

The games industry generates, alone in Germany, a turnover of over 1 billion euros and employs up to 15,000 employees. The worldwide turnover is estimated at 15 to 30 billion euros. The prestige which the spectacular gaming events, recognised worldwide, bring to the region should, therefore, also not be underestimated. The finals of the biggest video games event, for example, the World Cyber Games, were held in Cologne in 2008 – the city managed to beat major international rivals including Peking, Shanghai and Stockholm. Around 700 players from 70 countries and estimated 25,000 spectators were visiting the city because of this event alone.

Cologne has, meanwhile, grown into the capital of the games region NRW and this is most clearly reflected in the fact that the most important computer games exhibition - under the name GAMESCom - has moved to the Rhine. In the last year in Leipzig it attracted 500 exhibitors and 180,000 visitors. »We hope that also the computer industry will, in the future, focus more strongly on Cologne and attract the developers and service providers here,« emphasises Koelnmesse Managing Director, Oliver P. Kuhrt. »We see the decision in favour of Cologne not as being against Leipzig but for Germany. If the Games Convention hadn’t left Leipzig there would be the danger that another international city would take up the subject and organise its own exhibition.«





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