GAMA Trade Show Report 2009: The Airport Post–Parting Thoughts

As I sit in the Las Vegas airport awaiting my flight, I felt that some reflection over the past day and a half was in order. I never attended GTS previously, so I have no benchmarks to work from, but I did query the “old-timers” for some perspective. More on that later. I will start with my impressions as a rookie.

The show is a chock full of gaming goodness. There were some truly exciting games and prototypes on offer that promise great things to come in the gaming industry. It was refreshing to see some new, smaller companies entering the market with fresh ideas ( I will write more on those in the days ahead). I also saw some new games from established companies like Green Ronin and Steve Jackson games. I have a huge amount to write about, some tasty stuff will go up in the next couple of days, stretching into next week.

Now for the bad news. I felt the show attendance was low, given it is one of the biggest trade events for gaming. I checked with previous attendees and they also said attendance was down. I chatted with a distributor that wished to remain anonymous who stated that new clients were significantly off from previous years.

There is also a rumor floating around the show that some of the larger companies might not attend next year. It is strictly a rumor, but telling and I would not be surprised at all if it comes to pass.

There was one disappointment that I thought worth mentioning. “Wizards of the Coast” has a nice array of new products coming out this year, but it all had a distinctively stale air about it. Their main push was in regards to the “2” books (their term, not mine) MM2, PHB2 and DMG2. There was also a mention of the “Player’s Handbook 3” in 2010. 4E, for good or ill was exciting at release. Now it seems like WOTC is copying movie studios trying to squeeze yet one more sequel out of the franchise. 4E is successful, no question, but I would like to see WTOC branch out a bit and try something new. WOTC has the talent, marketing and financing to take a little risk.

I am going to wrap up so I can catch up on email. There is more coming about GTS 2009 this weekend, but if you would like to see what exhibitors attended, check out the GTS 2009 Exhibitor List on

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.