Gamescom hopes to return to Cologne in 2021


Hybrid online/physical event planned

Last week saw the 2020 iteration of the annual gamescom presentation which – like many trade shows this wretched year – was forced to abandon its usual format and transition to an online showcase due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite this year’s setbacks, gamescom has announced that it hopes to return to its traditional venue – The Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany – for 2021. Gamescom 2021 is expected to be a hybrid event, offering news, reveals, trailers and panels in both a physical and online capacity.

“The extraordinary circumstances made Gamescom 2020 extremely challenging, yet especially exciting,” said German Games Industry’s Felix Falk. “The digital concept demonstrates how big the international potential of our games event – already the largest in the world – still is. At the same time, however, it has become clear how important the on-site conference, in addition to further digital development, is for the community and the games industry. So, we now have to take our experience from this year and use it to develop the ideal combined on- and offline event for 2021.”

In statistics listed on the official gamescom website, it is reported that over two million viewers tuned in to this year’s Opening Night Live presentation, with gamescom itself being viewed by an audience of over 10 million during the weekend’s festivities.

That fact remains, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and, despite the pleas of various world leaders, public safety goes beyond everyone just “getting back to normal.” While it’s understandable that global industries have no choice but to start laying out their plans for 2021, the reality is that the pandemic remains a very real and very unpredictable issue – going into the last quarter of 2020 and beyond.

Gamescom 2020: A strong signal in challenging times [GGIA / Eurogamer]