Gamescom plots physical return to Cologne in 2021


Plans are being made for a return to an in-person Gamescom show in Cologne for 2021.

The enormous games show last year squeezed 373,000 people into Cologne’s cramped convention centre. Social distance, you could not.

2020’s physical event was scrapped, and effectively replaced with a miasma of online announcements lead by Geoff Keighley’s Opening Night Live show last Friday. Two million people tuned in to watch that from the comfort of their own homes.

It sounds we’ll be seeing more of Gamescom’s digital side next year, along with some kind of physical event.

“The extraordinary circumstances made Gamescom 2020 extremely challenging, yet especially exciting,” said Felix Falk, boss of the German Games Industry Association. “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.”

Organisers have described next year’s show as a hybrid, with its physical portion to be held in Cologne from 25th to 29th August 2021, and its digital side to sit online at the same time.

E3’s organisers have similarly promised some kind of physical event is being planned for next year, though it remains to be seen to what extent this will be possible.