UKGE and Origins Report 2022 Attendance Figures

UK Games Expo this June reported a total of 23,163 unique attendees over the weekend. Origins Game Fair reported 11,689 attendees.

While these two events are usually neck-and-neck in terms of attendees, the pandemic (and the different rules at each event) has had an impact. Traditionally, the two events leap-frog each other for the positions of #3 on the list of the worlds's largest tabletop gaming conventions (after Gen Con and Essen Spiel).

UKGE had no COVID rules or restrictions in place this year. Origins, after initially removing restrictions, reinstated a mask requirement. Gen Con is requiring masks and proof of vaccination later this year.


Last year--2021-- UKGE reported 10,671 unique attendees, far lower than usual, while Origins reported 10,476.

In 2019 (before the pandemic) UKGE reported 25,704 attendees, while Origins reported 20,642. By contrast, Gen Con in 2018 had over 60,000 unique attendees.

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I went to Origins this year. I thought attendance seemed lower than the last time I went (2019). Being half of what it was then will do that.


#1 Enworld Jerk™
Yeah, while I understand the mask and vaccine requirement, it made me not go. I have no desire to wear a mask for the entirety of my vacation, just no thanks. I'll just go again when we can go without those requirements. See you in 5 years Origins!


I know folks at origins won't want to hear this, but it was probably the best origins I've attended in a decade tbh. In many ways the smaller crowds made it easier to navigate and find new games to play - it reminded me of how origins was when I first attended 20 years ago in some ways.

Also it was the first con I've attended where I didn't get "con crud" for a week afterwards in a long time. Which was also quite nice.


My report from Origins is that it was 'meh'. While not having as many gamers hanging around has its advantages, not having as many tables running cool games does not. There was a marked lack of tables with viable one shot games catering to under 18. Maybe it's that last part of 'under 18' that I never had to notice before, but there were very few RPG tables with interesting games that also allowed under 18 players and almost everything interesting sold out in the first hour. I was only 40 minutes late registering and missed at least two of the games I had been planning to sign up for.

It was very much noticeable that things like Shadowrun were not selling out quickly. A lot of years the new major publisher releases are the the new hotness, but this year no one seemed interested.

Anyway, ended up with just one day worth attending and one poor game and one good game. It wasn't a terrible first experience with a con for my gamer Grrl, but not a great one either.

Ironically, she had much more fun at a table of (as she put it) "grey haired men", then she did at the mixed gender table. Being a player is a skill people. It always amazes me the number of people who have been playing RPGs for 20+ years that are terrible at it. If you are talking not only more than every other player, but more than the GM, maybe think about taking some spotlight off yourself.

Also, tip to GMs. Just because the girl is 16 doesn't mean she's a novice child. She's got like 10 years of experience with RPGs, and has at times been a twice a week gamer playing a wide variety of systems and indy games. She plays things like 'Blades in the Dark'. Please don't condescend or assume she can't keep up with adults.

Also, second tip to GMs. When running a 4 hour one shot it is better to do a few scenes really well than a lot of scenes poorly. Keep it tight and focused.

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