The game! has apparently found a new home: after its debut in Dortmund this year, the fair will remain in Westphalia for the 2023 edition. This is announced by the organizing Nostheide publishing house. 

Some are happy, others took the message with incomprehension: Let's play! In any case, 2023 will again take place at the exhibition center in Dortmund. That was already the case this year and at least organizationally one seems to be satisfied. 

Play it: Difficult Birth in the Smelting Works 

The game! had a difficult start: the trade fair took place twice in the landscape park north in Duisburg in the local steel works, but due to the corona situation, Nostheide-Verlag was then forced to take a longer break before it restarted this year in the Dortmund trade fair came. 

The move to Dortmund came as a surprise. With great commitment, the city of Duisburg set up accommodation for around 650 refugees from war-affected Ukraine in the power station of the landscape park. The understandable measure led to the need for rescheduling for the Nostheide publishing house.

Even if the visitors accepted the event well from the start, the pandemic and the global situation in its third year meant that you would have to wait a bit before the event had a chance to establish itself. It was similar in Cologne with the CCXP Cologne, who also thwarted the virus pandemic several times.  

Nevertheless: just over 11.200 visitors came to the game! 2022 recently in Dortmund while playing at their expense, so the conclusion of the publisher. In 2019 there were around 14.000 enthusiastic guests. 

Around 100 exhibitors and brands, including industry giants, small publishers and game designers with their prototypes, had something for everyone on offer at Messe Dortmund. A highlight was the always well-attended gaming area, where you could borrow and try out games. The shared game moments are the ideal core of the "Play it!", the convention is not a gigantic sales fair. There are stands, but the focus is on trying out the parlor games that the publishers have in their luggage.

The first report about the move to Dortmund gave rise to discussions about a possible permanent solution. Not every fan liked that. Above all, some players miss the charm of the old industrial ruins in the Duisburg landscape park. The game! has had a real unique selling proposition so far. That has now been given up, but with the move to a real trade fair location, advantages for the future of the event have also been secured: Large halls, more space, light, a professional environment with empirical values ​​from other trade fair events. The decision also harbors growth potential for Nostheide-Verlag. Some fans even see a “Game 2.0” in the making – but it will probably be a long way from there. 

According to the current announcement, the decision to move is permanent, at least in the medium term: “The board and card game fair, play! will remain in Dortmund for the next few years following successful negotiations with Messe Dortmund,” says Nostheide-Verlag, the organizer. 

It should not be the only change: the trade fair is moving from Hall 5 to the much larger Hall 4 with over 8.300 square meters. That's 3.000 square meters more than in the previous hall at the debut in Dortmund. "This change of hall also enables corresponding growth for the future," confirms Nostheide-Verlag. The north entrance with around 1.500 square meters will also be used again.

The date for the new edition of the game after all! is already written: According to the organizers, the new date in Dortmund will always be on the last weekend in April in the future. This means that the quarter game after all! in Dortmund from April 28th to 30th, 2023.

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