The German government has announced plans to ban all large events through until the end of August this year. This is a new development in the country’s lockdown, which has already been extended until May 3, 2020.
Local governors, as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel, want to continue to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) through the country’s population. As a result, events where lots of people are sure to gather together, from sporting events to music festivals, are all being banned.
Despite The ESA canceling E3 2020, and many other gaming events being postponed until much later in the year, the organizers of Gamescom were confident that this year’s event would still go ahead. The event usually runs from the 25th to the 29th of August, but given this new ban from the German government, it’s either going to have to be moved or canceled altogether.
❗ Even though not all details are known at present, the nationwide ban on major events until the end of August will also affect the planning for #gamescom2020. Furthermore: gamescom 2020 will definitely take place digitally! We will provide further information shortly. ❗
— gamescom (@gamescom) April 15, 2020
While E3 is probably the biggest highlight of the gaming calendar, Gamescom is the biggest gaming event of the year. In recent years more than 370,000 people have attended the event in Cologne. By comparison, E3 and PAX East attract between 50,000 and 70,000 attendees.
The organizers of Gamescom made a public announcement few hours ago regarding the cancellation of this year’s event, they have released a statement on Twitter acknowledging the ban. They say that more details will follow, but at the very least Gamescom 2020 will happen digitally this year.
— gamescom (@gamescom) April 16, 2020
Most game developers and publishers are working out how to host their own live events on digital platforms in lieu of E3 this year. Gamescom’s organizers will go as far as they can to ensure that their event still attracts visitors, even if they’re all digital.
Gamescom is an event that many companies value as a platform to make big announcements at, and network with businesses during. For many indie developers this will be yet another blow, taking away an opportunity for them to show their games to publishers, and access funding and marketing that would help them get their games off the ground.