And there it is: This summer’s Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, will be an all-digital event rather than a hybrid one. The proposed hybrid solution has been rejected given the lack of “planning reliability,” presumably thanks to COVID-19, though the press release doesn’t expressly say so, referring only to “crises.”
“This decision was made after extensive discussions with partners and exhibitors,” the German Games Industry Association announced this morning. “Thus, the organizers take into account the current situation, in which too many companies are unable to participate in physical events this year due to the still difficult development. In this way, they also meet the partners’ strong need for planning security. This means that gamescom 2021 will be held exclusively digitally and free of charge for all gamescom fans. In 2020, gamescom celebrated numerous successes: Over 100 million video views across all formats and channels, more than 50 million unique users from 180 countries, and 370 partners from 44 countries. Building on this success, the digital offering is now being expanded further.”
It also sounds as if the hybrid model might be back on the table next year. The PR also talks up a social media-encrusted “new concept called gamescom epix” and the participation of Geoff Keighley.
“In the slightly adjusted schedule for digital gamescom 2021, gamescom week will start with devcom as usual on Monday, August 23. gamescom: Opening Night Live will take place on Wednesday, August 25, with the main days of gamescom on Thursday and Friday, August 26 and 27. Some of the offers will continue to be available over the following weekend.”