Rival organisers drop out of gaming shows

Organiser CMPi has axed its gaming portfolio of shows and event director Andy Lane has been made redundant. The move occurred as rival organiser London EventCo also announced that it would not be running its computer game consumer event Game Zone Live, planned for Excel, following decisions by Xbox, Sony and Electronic Arts (EA) not to attend.

"The launch of the Xbox2 no longer coincided with our September show dates. EA is focused on other sampling and Sony will again run its PlayStation Experience as a stand-alone event," said London EventCo director Kirsty Adams. "Games manufacturers do not look to launch products around a fledgling show's dates and without these key exhibitors we didn't have an event."

London EventCo and CMPi went head to head last year, running games industry trade events on the same dates in an often heated battle over exhibitors and trade association backing (Event October 2004).

The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) had switched its allegiance from CMPi's ECTS show to a new European Games Network (EGN) exhibition.

London EventCo ran EGN at Excel from 1-3 September alongside its debut Game Zone Live on the trade body's behalf. ECTS took place at Earls Court on the same three days.

CMPi has now axed its plans for a 2005 ECTS, which last year included the Games Developer Conference Europe (GDCE). It has also cancelled next year's Score event for retailers.

ELSPA director general Roger Bennett stressed the need for an industry-backed UK event. He is hopeful EGN can run without the support of Game Zone Live. CMPi is currently in talks with its parent over the future of the GDCE conference.

"We said the launch of EGN would be divisive and we were proved correct. After a couple of years of tough trading, we've called it a day," said Lane.

London EventCo's Adams has been appointed marketing director of the British International Motor Show following its move to Excel next year.


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