Gamescom Taking Digital Approach Following Ban on Major Events

Gamescom may be facing cancellation, but the show will go on in the form of an online event.

The gaming world has found it challenging to respond to the difficulties presented by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. While some events, such as E3, are outright being canceled, others are making due. Esports are moving to an all-online format, forgoing their illustrious crowds, and would-be E3 presenters are preparing their own presentation streams. Now, another industry-leading event is shifting to an online format: Gamescom.

Gamescom is one of the world’s premiere gaming events, located in Cologne, Germany. It hosts not just developers and publishers but also gaming peripheral and accessory manufacturers. Simply put, it’s a melting pot of everything gaming. But this year, the event will not be open to the public. Announced officially through the event’s Twitter account, it seems that, after a struggle to have the show go on despite a recent decision by the German government to cancel all major events, Gamescom will only be happening online. Which, to be fair, is a lot more than E3 is doing this year.

It is reassuring though, that Gamescom seems to be holding itself to a high standard, even with a new format. It even seems that the event’s opening night, often a celebration of games and what’s to come in the industry, won’t be changing all that much. Geoff Keighley, the creator of the Game Awards, is still expecting to host the opening show, which is almost always a guarantee that it’ll be an event worth watching.

For ticket holders, this development is sure to be disappointing. However, Gamescom is taking responsibility for your refunds, which should be going through in the coming weeks. It’s sad to say though that this latest cancellation shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone.  Seeing how the ongoing pandemic has affected the entire games industry, not to mention the world at large, the cancellation of one more event is more of a drop in the bucket.

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Otto Kratky

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