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Gamelab is the name of the first trade show on video games and interactive entertainment created in Spain. Founded in 2004 by a professor at the University of Oviedo Ivan Fernandez Lobo, Gamelab stood from its origin as a benchmark for companies and professionals in the video game industry.
For three days, Gamelab offers the public a program of lectures, panel discussions, workshops and networking with key industry partners in Spain and leading international figures. Legends of the sector, as the pioneer of virtual worlds, Richard Bartle or the creator of the Tomb Raider series, Ian Livingston, accompany each year to national entrepreneurs and creators discuss the latest trends and developments in the sector.
Together with them, intellectuals, journalists and prominent creators of other areas of culture, discuss the phenomenon of game on a more informative. Santiago Segura, Vicente Verdú, Nacho Vigalondo or Juan Jose Millas, among others, have entertained the audience by sharing his views on the video game world. Since 2008, moreover, gives Gamelab National Awards to the video game industry. The award in the form of "flea" in honor of the first video game created in Spain by Paco Suarez.
Gamelab, which in 2009 was opened by the Minister of Culture, Ángeles González-Sinde, has since then with the support of the Ministry and the Foreign Trade Institute.
New York-based Diner Dash creator Gamelab has shut its New York office, selling off its office equipment and furnishings, but co-founder Eric Zimmerman remains tight-lipped about plans for the firm.
Zimmerman told Gamasutra that at this point, he is "not in the position to make a public statement" about the status of the company, which has created over 30 games.
An e-mail sent to New York City area industry figures in April described an "Everything must go office sale," in which Gamelab was selling everything from PCs to IKEA office chairs and desks to video games and televisions.
Gamasutra sister alt.weblog GameSetWatch recently published links to photos from the sale, which cleared out Gamelab's extensive collection of board games and other items.
Word of the office sale came after Gamelab said it would be laying off around 10 of its 25 workers in October 2008. It's believed that the majority of the remaining Gamelab employees are no longer working with the firm.
At the time, Zimmerman said the company would focus exclusively on Gamestar Mechanic, an online multiplayer game for kids that lets them create their own games. A grant from the MacArthur Foundation has helped support Gamestar Mechanic.
Gamelab's most renowned game is PlayFirst-published Diner Dash, which debuted in 2003 and has grown into a franchise that has sold millions of copies across a wide array of gaming platforms. Despite the massive success of the franchise, it appears that Gamelab has not seen a continued financial boost from its success, likely due to PlayFirst's IP ownership of the original game.
New York video game industry stalwart Gamelab has also developed LEGO Fever, Jojo's Fashion Show and the serious game Ayiti: The Cost of Life, with Zimmerman a notable figure in the local industry scene and the host of GDC's yearly Game Design Challenge.
As long ago as February 2008, Zimmerman had expressed concern about an inefficient business model and lack of creativity in the casual games business.
Gamasutra expects to learn more details surrounding Gamelab's status in the coming days.
Besides holding the fair, Gamelab organization works throughout the year in the spread of the phenomenon and the video game industry in Spain. Active part in the process of recognition as a cultural industry sector by the Congress of Deputies, has promoted Gamelab as Shigeru Miyamoto's candidacy Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities or the creation of the Spanish Academy of Arts and Interactive Sciences.