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ECTS 2 : Attack Of The Fanboys

Europe's biggest trade show no longer trade-only

CMP have realised our darkest nightmares with the announcement that this year's ECTS will sport a radical new look. In the past the event has at least nominally been trade-only, even if some under-age blaggers still manage to find their way through the rather lax security each year. But from now on the show will be open to everyone, although event director Andy Lane did at least offer us a ray of hope, commenting that ExCeL's layout "enables us to have consumer halls sitting alongside trade-only halls". Hopefully this means that there will still be somewhere for journos and retail buyers to get serious business done this year without being trampled under foot by a horde of 12 year old Tomb Raider fanatics trying to get a glimpse of the latest Lara Croft model. CMP describe this as "a radical and exciting change", but it's not yet clear how successful it will be. For starters, just last week Future Publishing announced that they were backing a new exhibition called Games Matrix, which is focused entirely on consumers and will be taking place at Earls Court a few weeks after ECTS. We doubt that there's a big enough market to support two major gaming shows in London in the space of a month, so one (or both) is likely to end up half empty. Will big name publishers wanting to show off their latest games to the public choose to cater for both trade and consumers at the venerable ECTS, or opt for a new and untested central London punters-only event? Or will they just do what Nintendo did last year, and hold their own shows alongside ECTS? Other changes to the traditional ECTS format include national pavilions for France, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia ("to provide a place for visitors to meet and greet fellow colleagues") and keynote seminars from prominent gaming industry figures. Retailers will also be catered for, with a new VIP retail lounge to match the developer lounge and ever-improving press facilities already present at the show. "It's impossible to come up with an event that everyone will be 100 per cent happy with", Andy Lane admitted. "But we're confident this is as close as you could possibly get and that ECTS 2002 will be the industry event everyone has been asking for." Does this sound like the ECTS 2002 you have been asking for? Fill out the comment form below and let us know! Related Feature - The Future Of ECTS

ECTS 2001 - relatively quiet, but nicely air conditioned
ECTS 2000 - almost as quiet, but no air conditioning

Source - press release

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