We all know what the big three gaming conferences are. There’s Tokyo Game Show, which goes down in Japan and features all of the biggest Japanese game developers. There’s Gamescom, which is going down in Cologne, Germany right now, which showcases all the biggest upcoming games to a European audience. Then there is E3, the biggest of the big, which happens in Los Angeles every year. There are a lot of other events that the gaming industry shows up to, like San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con, there are more fan oriented conventions, like PAX, and there are conventions specifically geared toward game developers and development, like GDC, but we really don’t have a fourth trade show.
So let’s fantasize for a bit. If the gaming industry did have a fourth trade show where, would it be?
Well there are a couple obvious candidates. New York is probably the first to come to mind. It’s a huge population center of the world, allowing for a lot of public exposure. The Javits Center is a huge expo floor that is many times larger than the LA Convention Center, so the event could be bigger than E3. The only problem is, there’s not a whole lot of gaming industry in New York. Almost all of it is on the West Coast. Then again, many companies fly out to Boston for PAX East, so that wouldn’t be that strange.
Choosing a central location in the U.S. would also be an interesting idea. Chicago is another population center, as is Austin, Texas. Both have convention spaces that could easily rival the LACC, allowing the tradeshow to easily rival E3 in scope. However, these spaces also suffer from the problem that they are not located in a place where a lot of the gaming industry is located. You’ll likely find a lot of companies dropping out late minute or just not even going in that case, and forget any indie studios showing up.
Choosing a location in Canada wouldn’t necessarily be that bad of an idea either. Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are all home to several different gaming studios, and all of them are big enough population centers to host a tradeshow. It would be easy for American developers to get there, though it would be understandably hard for Japanese and European developers to get there. Then again, it’s also difficult for European developers to make it all the way out to the West Coast for E3, so that wouldn’t be that strange either.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many other candidates. The gaming industry is unfortunately focused in Eastern Europe, Canada, Japan, and the U.S. right now. There are many other places that have started to grow their own branches of the gaming industry, but you’d be hard pressed to get the majority of the industry to fly out there for a trade show. Nothing against locales like Brazil, Dubai, and Singapore, of course, but these other candidates are already longshots.
For now we just have to be content with the big three. But what about you? Where would you want another gaming trade show to take place?
Senior Contributing Writer