2020 was a year of digital-only expos, as health and safety restrictions ruled out the extensive travel and crowds that characterise the biggest events in gaming. Germany’s gamescom event is one of the very biggest, certainly in terms of the enormous crowds it would normally draw, but it handled circumstances well with a successful online show.
With the ongoing pandemic issues and, perhaps more importantly, uncertainties that vary per country, gamescom has confirmed it’ll be digital-only again this year. Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, says the following in the press release:
Together with game – The German Games Industry Association – we have put all our energy into making gamescom 2021 in a hybrid format possible for fans and industry alike. However, even though the hybrid concept was very well received by the partners, we had to recognize that gamescom still comes too early for many companies in the industry due to the required planning reliability. One thing is absolutely clear: All those involved now need planning reliability. That’s why we’re going for a purely digital gamescom again this year and, with sufficient lead time, will be able to offer the gaming community an even stronger online event at the end of August 2021.
As mentioned above, the show had a decent go at making its online event a success last year, and it’s aiming to do so again. It’ll open with gamescom: Opening Night Live with Geoff Keighley on 25th August, then there’ll be main events through to 27th August.
As is the case with E3, a digital-only show will hopefully still bring plenty of reveals and excitement for everyone tuning in online. We’ll be sure to follow events as they unfold later in the summer.