Gamescom 2020 preparing for expanded digital presence

Visitors gather in a hallway at the video games trade fair Gamescom in Cologne, western Germany, on August 21, 2019. ― AFP pic
Visitors gather in a hallway at the video games trade fair Gamescom in Cologne, western Germany, on August 21, 2019. ― AFP pic

COLOGNE, April 1 ― Whether August's massive video game expo Gamescom goes ahead inside Cologne's convention centre or not, the event's digital track will be “significantly expanded.”

Organisers of European video game expo Gamescom are holding off on a definitive ruling on the pivotal event's physical incarnation until mid-May.

What the German group does know for sure is that its Gamescom: Opening Night Live and Gamescom Now formats will undergo significant expansion in 2020.

That means that provisional dates of August 25-29 are now fixed for 2020.

“If an on-site event is possible, there will also be more information [mid-May] with regard to which changes need to be made in order to fully ensure the health of all visitors,” the Gamescom organisers advised in a March 31 update.

“This has been arranged with the largest exhibitors, therefore all gamescom plans are continuing at full speed.”

Those that already hold tickets for Gamescom or associated event Devcom will be reimbursed in full if Gamescom 2020 goes fully digital.

“We are determined to celebrate the latest news, announcements and world premieres together with the community again this year at the end of August,” explained Felix Falk, managing director of the German Games Industry Association.

“In view of the corona crisis, we are now expanding all digital formats at full speed so that gamescom 2020 can at least take place digitally in any case.”

In 2019, Gamescom welcomed 373,000 attendees to the halls of the Koelnmesse, giving it a larger visitor footprint than Paris Games Week (317,000 in 2019) and the Tokyo Game Show (298,690).

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, has also been considered a significant event in the annual video game calendar, traditionally positioned as a trade show with livestreamed keynotes for fans and industry observers alike.

Since 2017 it has been recalibrated as a more public-facing event, boosting total attendance from around 50,000 to the mid-to-high 60,000s, but was understood to have been facing organisational challenges even before Covid-19 measures ensured its 2020 cancellation. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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