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Just how big is GamesCom 2012?

While experts on CNBC spent much of last Wednesday night discussing how likely it was that America would slip into a disastrous 2nd recession in 2013, after the presidential elections, Cologne was gearing up for the first public day of GamesCom 2012. KitGuru operatives sent back some cool shots that give you an idea of the enormity of the event.

Estimates for how many people will attend GamesCom this year vary, but they are all close to 300,000. The show is not free, with an average entrance cost, per person, of almost £15 per day. If we say that the basic financials for the visitors is 300,000 x £15 = £4.5 million, then we’re probably not far wrong.

On 'build up day', Sapphire's Bill Donnelly takes a moment out from preparations to take a quiet call. Once the doors open (right) there is no peace - unless you count the army of huge, motionless, security guards

Then we have the stands themselves.

Because every company attending is big/serious/loaded, there’s very little available in the way of ‘discounts for bigger stand space’. Companies are paying close to £150 for a metre and it’s easy to round that up to £200 a metre if you include electricity, Internet access, tickets for staff (yep, no freebies here), food during the day and some accommodation costs for team members based outside Cologne.

Thousands of cherry-picked staff work at GamesCom and you need them when you have stands as huge as the one for the Intel Extreme Masters gaming tournament. Intel's tournament barely fills one end of one hall!

With 11 halls in full effect, the organisers told us that the total area of the Koln Messe (German name for the location) was 120,000 square metres. We’d estimate that around 70,000 square metres of space has been sold – which would give the organisers more than £10 million for the show itself.

These calculations are very rough, but the organisers could be looking at £15 million for one event in a regular German city, in the middle of a boiling hot summer (temperatures nuzzled 30 degrees Cologne yesterday). And we haven’t even touched the schnitzel, ice cream , pokie-pola or beer money.

Not bad going. Not bad at all.

These figures (and enormous crowds of German gamers) beg the question, “What recession?”

Apologies, but our operative's 24mm lens could not capture the left & right edge of ONE of these Call of Duty buildings. That's right. There are TWO of these monsters next to each other - 100% full for 4 days.

Remember, if you’re based in the UK and want a much more civilised event on a sensible scale, but with equally great access to the new games, then you’d be well advised to make a trip to Multiplay i46 at the Telford International Centre over the Bank Holiday weekend.

It's like someone took the biggest out-of-town supermarket you ever saw, made copies, and arranged 11 of them along the outside of a single corridor - for the sole reason of making hardcore gamers happy.

KitGuru says: We hope you enjoy these shots of an extremely busy first day at GamesCom 2012. Next year, we’ll send the chaps to Germany with MUCH wider lenses.

Comment below or in the KutGuru forums.

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