MCM Central, the people behind MCM Comic Con and other top pop culture events have announced the launch of GamerMania in London next year. EN gets the exclusive from MD Bryan Cooney on the event that looks to fly the flag for the UK, in the worldwide gaming industry.
How did the concept of GamerMania come about?
We have seen what already works for us within MCM and looked at the key areas of the industry. Our new show will focus on all of the major gaming areas and some of the smaller, but growing niche areas. Our concept is to be the platform for all gaming.
What made you choose the gaming sector?
MCM Comic Con events are hugely successful with a strong and growing gaming presence, we get incredible support from publishers and while we know it is a great fit with our consumers, some of the industry still lean more towards specialist gaming events.
We feel we have a lot to offer and focusing on a dedicated gaming event is a natural progression for MCM. The UK and especially London needs a large-scale event that can grow and we have a world class venue with ExCeL as well as the space to grow.
Are you a gaming fan?
I have a PS4 and XBOX 360. I’ve enjoyed games since I was a child when ZX80, 81 and then ZX Spectrum came out and that brought me to Atari and beyond, so while I may not be a teen, Call of Duty, Halo and Mass Effect have a place in our household. I have an advantage in this sector as I have my own focus group, my four children aged from 8 to 19 tell me what’s hot and what I should be looking at, they are also relatively cost-effective as my trend consultants.
How does the new event complement your portfolio?
GamerMania fits right in the centre of our portfolio, we have a mix of consumers and exhibitors at MCM Comic Con shows that translates well to GamerMania and with it positioned in July, it sits well between our May and October offering.
What is the reason behind positioning GamerMania after E3 and SDCC, and ahead of Gamescom?
The end of July works for many reasons, with E3 usually in June and San Diego Comic Con mid-July, the industry has a lot to say and has generated the content. And while these shows give them a strong platform, London offers a gateway to the UK and onward to the wider European market.
Gamescom is a truly wonderful event, what GamerMania will offer is access to the UK market and a gateway to Europe with an opportunity to get news heard. We are confident that the industry will see this event as a strong platform and support our efforts to have a show that can complement Gamescom.
Who do you expect to see at GamerMania?
Some view key gamers, mainly the young adult male, as the focus market and a lot of shows cater for this. In some ways they are right as they are buying big franchise titles like Black Ops, Halo etc, that said, young adult females now have a huge part to play in some of the big gaming success. We must also not forget families, people now have access via tablets, phones and enhancements to platforms like Kinect, Wii and motion led titles represent an audience way beyond the hard core gamer and do I need to say Minecraft, Lego, Skylanders, Disney Infinity anyone?
What are the key features?
The games market is far wider than it used to be and GamerMania will be a strong mix, major platforms, PC, eSports, LAN, Indie, Online, Industry events, Developers and so on the opening day for industry to view and do business.
What are your aspirations for show?
We want to create a show that we and the industry can be proud of, and one that gives the industry and consumers a great experience all under one roof.
GamerMania is set to take place from 29 to 31 July 2016 at ExCeL London.
This article was first published in the November issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne