Gamescom 2021 to combine physical and digital events

Gamescom 2021 to combine physical and digital events

The next version fo Cologne trade fair Gamescom will have both physical and online elements.

That's according to German trade body GAME, which has described this year's show as "challenging" due to the on-going COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The organisation highlighted the performance of the Gamesom: Opening Night Live broadcast, now in its second year, which attracted over two million concurrent viewers. That's four times the audience the event had in 2019 when it debuted.

As a result of the success of an online-only Gamesom 2020, the trade body says that future shows will incorporate both digital and physical elements. Gamescom 2021 will be taking place between Wednesday, August 25th and Sunday, August 29th.

"The extraordinary circumstances made Gamesom 2020 extremely challenging, yet especially exciting," GAME's managing director Felix Falk said.

"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. We’re also especially happy about the political signals that were sent by Gamesom 2020. The launch of the major games funding programme announced by Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer is historic and marks the start of our race to catch up as a competitive international site for games development. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s contribution to the Gamesom Congress, as well as the Debatt(l)e Royale and the participation of over 200 guests in digital tours, show that, this year too, Gamesom remains one of the most important platforms for the exchange between policymakers and the digital generation."

Jens Kosche, executive board member of GAME and EA's MD for Germany, Austria and Switzerland added: "Even though the use of games has increased in the last several months, the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge challenge for the international games industry too.

"Physical events have been cancelled and, in many cases, the development of games also hasn’t continued in the usual manner, with the focus on the safety and health of all involved requiring that thousands of developers work from home. This made it all the more important that Gamesom could be held successfully online: it was an anchor in the event calendar and attracted the attention of the community worldwide. I expressly thank all of the partners who, this year especially, have dedicated themselves to the success of Gamesom, our most important industry event."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.