On Sunday, March 31, around 18 p.m., the second edition of the still young Duisburg games fair “Play it!” ended. Around 14.000 enthusiastic visitors flocked to the Kraftzentrale in the North Landscape Park over the three days of the event to try out board and card games in the middle of an old industrial plant. A noticeable increase in the number of visitors suggests that the "Play it!" will be successful again in 2020. the 3rd "Play it!" will then take place from March 27th to 29th.

Duisburg game fair is growing

While 11.300 visitors took part in the opening event last year, around 2019 game fans were already drawn to the Duisburg landscape park in 14.000. This corresponds to an increase of almost 24 percent, a value that also applies to the expansion of this year's exhibition space. Almost 100 exhibitors - mainly well-known industry giants, but also small publishers and game designers - presented their ideas for three days.

The event hall got full, especially on the weekend. Photo: André Volkmann
The event hall got full, especially on the weekend. Photo: André Volkmann

The supporting program with a panel discussion, workshops, tournaments and a flea market was also well received by the visitors, says Verlag Nostheide. The event also received attention from the city administration of the city of Duisburg: On Saturday, March 30th, André Haack, the city's head of economic affairs, visited the games fair to find out more about the board and card game industry as part of a tour.

The two weekend days were popular with visitors, especially Sunday, when numerous families with children streamed into the event hall. Children aged four and over are particularly attracted to the range of games on offer. "This is 'tip-top' for children from the age of six," reveals a father who attended the "Play it!" with his wife and five children.

Picture gallery: Play it! 2019

For the very little ones, however, the playful possibilities are rather limited. Here one wishes for the future more specifically aligned play stations, for example with building blocks. The extended family noticed the size of the Duisburg games fair positively: “I think the size is great. We were already in Essen with the children last year; However, SPIEL was too big for us,” says the mother. The "Play it!" scores with this as a family-friendly event.

The prerequisites for establishing yourself as a permanent fixture in the event landscape of the card and board game industry are in place: The next "Play it!" will take place from March 27th to 29th, 2020.

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