THQ and SEGA have announced that they will be joining Nintendo in skipping the largest event in the games industry's calendar: the annual August showcase at Gamescom in Cologne.
Last year's convention saw over 275,000 attend across five days and, unlike E3, it gives publishers and developers the biggest opportunity to show off their titles directly to consumers, as well as suits and press, ahead of the autumn madness of retail release gridlock.
"Sega has made the decision not to attend Gamescom this year," said the company in a statement. Gamescom 2011 was a very successful show for us and continues to be the most important European event in the calendar.
"Unfortunately the release timing of our 2012 AAA titles and new projects don't work with the mid- August scheduling of the show. The decision will not mean that Sega will never attend Gamescom in the future, this was simply a commercial decision made for 2012."
To be fair, setting up a flashy booth costs a fair amount of money and takes time away from actually working on the material due for release. Irrational have already said that there'd be no Bioshock Infinite at either E3 or Gamescom this year, for example. THQ have stepped away from e3 this year, and announced they wouldn't have a booth at Gamescom, although "the team is still discussing options" and there may be a possibility of representatives available to talk to the press.
With Blizzard on the list of absentees from E3, and the growing number of bails from Gamescom, the question is whether or not the large expos can continue to exist from an industry perspective. Although the latter is great if you're a consumer, it will become far less so if publishers stop turning up. [GI.biz]