In a press release from Gen Con LLC, which is run by ex-WotC honcho Peter Adkison, the company announced new Gen Con conventions for 2003. In addition to the 'original' Gen Con, which moves from Milwaukee to a new 'permanent' home in Indianapolis for a show that takes place July 24-27, there will also be a Gen Con Europe (which replaces Gen Con UK), which will be held April 18-21 at the Olympia 2 Convention Center in London, as well as a Gen Con So Cal to be held at the San Diego Convention Center from November 20-23.
Adkison, who bought the Gen Con Game Fair from WotC/Hasbro (see 'Wizards of the Coast Sells GenCon to Peter Adkison'), is bullish on the future of the game industry, which if you count video game sales (as Adkison did in his press release), pulled in more money this year so far than Hollywood has collected at the box office. Attendance at this year's final Gen Con in Milwaukee was over 23,000 and represents a 5% gain over 2001. With more space and more hotel rooms available in Indianapolis, Adkison is hoping that next year's show will break all previous records (for more info on both the 2002 and 2003 events, see 'GenCon Says Goodby to Milwaukee').
A key factor in the success of Gen Con's new shows will be support from the industry. With no shortage of gaming fans in England and California, the question is whether game companies be able to afford to attend all these shows as well as other industry staples such as the GAMA show in Las Vegas and the International Game Fair in Essen, Germany. The location of Gen Con Europe in close proximity to powerhouse miniature game producer Games Workshop and the placing of Gen Con So Cal only a few miles from the American Yu-Gi-Oh manufacturer Upper Deck may provide major sponsors to anchor each of these events.