Chris Wray: The Essen Press Conference

The halls are coming together nicely.

I was able to attend the press conference around noon, followed by the press show afterwards, and below is what I have to report.  This all comes from the “Detailed Press Release” handed out at the event.

  • There will be over 1,100 exhibitors this year, which is a record-setting number.
  • The hall size is up to 72,000 square meters (it was 64,000 last year).
  • There are exhibits from over 51 countries.
  • They are expecting more than 1,200 new games to be released.

They also reported that the German game market grew 10% from 2015 to 2016, which they described as “a clear indication . . . [of] how much analog games are the rise despite — and precisely because of — the progressive digitization of our society.”

Last year, they reported 162,000 visitors at the fair, and they expect at least that many this year.

The innoSPIEL Award

The team behind the fair has launched the innoSPIEL award, which is a new prize given by a jury to the most innovative game.  This year, the nominees were:

  • Fabelsaft (Fabled Fruit) by 2F-Spiele and Friedemann Friese
  • LYNGK by Huch! and Kris Burm
  • Magic Maze by Pegasus Spiele and Kasper Lapp

Magic Maze won, so congratulations to the designer/publisher, as well as to the other nominees!  We’ve reviewed all of these games here at The Opinionated Gamers and really enjoyed them.

The Press Event

I posted endless pictures to Twitter today about the press show, so check out OpinionatedGmrs on Twitter if you’d like to see them.  I’ll try to work them into my end-of-day report tonight.

Now back to the Messe!

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