It’s more than two months before the biggest gaming convention starts in August, but anyone who’s interested in going to gamescom in Cologne should start planning now.
After last year’s busy week of running from one press appointment to another and the number of articles published [see Day 1 (press appointments), Day 2 (press appointments), Day 3 (press appointments), Day 1 (public areas), Day 2 (public areas)], it’s clear to see that gamescom is still the best way to have hands-on experiences with current or upcoming games in both the Entertainment Area and Business Area, the latter of which providing more time in less crowded locations. Hopefully this year will offer just as many surprises and opportunities to talk to various developers and publishers (with or without goodies) and see what the entertainment areas have on display, too.
Starting on Tuesday, 20th of August and ending on Saturday, 24th of August 2019, the gamescom event is open to all sorts of experiences. While Tuesday is only for press and business people (or those who can get hold of a WILDCARD to have access after 1 pm), the other days are accessible for everyone, although one should be quick buying the tickets: Saturday is already sold out! It seems that the run for tickets and specials has never been this crazy, as the SuperfanBox offer has also expired.
Limited tickets and specials aside, what can one expect from gamescom 2019? The Indie Arena Booth has been restructured, which means that it should set itself apart even more from other parts of the entertainment areas. eSports is again another big topic, with Turtle Entertainment / ESL being the most prominent player on the scene. International game developers and publishers are as numerous as ever. Considering that 1037 exhibitors from 56 countries joined the first registration process in 2018, it’s no surprise that 12 pavillons are already set.
This year’s partner country are the Netherlands, which only makes sense, as it’s pretty close to home and there are lots of interesting studios that produce indie and AAA titles. So 20 companies will be present in the Netherland/Holland pavillon. This is rather small, taking into account that there are 600 companies in the country, but since 2009, the Netherlands have been part of the gamescom with a common booth that has increased with 300 percent and the number of participating companies with 37 percent between 2009 and 2018.
Something that people attending the gamescom won’t realize is that it will also expand to Asia, with the gamescom Asia offering the opportunity to travel to Suntec Singapore and join the conference from 15 to 16 October 2020 and the exhibition from 16 to 18 October 2020. Traversing the business areas for years and seeing all sorts of Asian games on almost every corner, it’s only a natural step in this direction.
Finally, there are many other events complementing the gamescom experience, like gamescom: Opening Night Live, a show that will be streamed live on Monday, 19th of August 2019, at 8 pm MESZ (2 pm EDT, 11 am PDT) from Cologne. Presented by Geoff Keighley und Kimmie H. Kim, Executive Producer of „The Game Awards“, this should give the event even more coverage exposure. There will probably be even more music and show acts outside the Koelnmesse venue and in the city of Cologne, but at the moment that’s all the information one should need. So don’t wait any longer buying those tickets before they’re all sold out!