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Gamescom to shift to digital event in 2021

Gamescom will no longer be an attempt at a hybrid physical and digital show this year. Instead, it’s been confirmed that the event will specifically be a digital only affair.

Despite the fact that COVID-19 vaccinations are being rolled out worldwide, the organizers have concluded that it’s still far too risky to try to organize such an event in a physical space this year. Many potential attendees would probably feel the same way were they asked to attend such an event.

The news was announced through an email to all invested parties. It comes as a result of discussions with exhibitors and partners who were due to appear at the show. No doubt these companies had their own reservations about any sort of physical event, putting everyone at risk for the sake of a show that could, ultimately, be digital.

Gamescom 2021, in addition to being digital only, is going to introduce a new concept called Gamescom Epix. This concept is a quest for attendees to go on digitally via social media long before Gamescom starts. This comes from Felix Falk, the Managing Director of the German Trade Association which co-organise Gamescom.

Gamescom’s 2021 digital event is going to build upon the base that was established last year with Geoff Keighley’s Opening Night Live. Last year, announcements were spread across a week or so, and developer interviews were published just after to keep the news and interest flowing from one part to the other.

Devcom is also planning to host an online business platform during the event. This will facilitate the conversations that usually happen between investors and developers looking for funding. Gamescom is a place where developers are always hoping to network, and the lack of a physical event kills the potential there. This online platform will bring it back to life and protect the livelihoods of developers.

There’s no question that any sort of physical event would lead to issues. Whether that’s a spread of COVID-19, limited places due to social distancing and health and safety, or any other myriad of reasons. There are far too many uncertainties this year, so it makes much more sense for Gamescome to be a digital only event for at least one more year.

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