Gamescom 2021 is Returning to an All-Digital Format After Promising a “Hybrid” Show

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Earlier this year, with the tide seemingly turning against COVID-19 thanks to vaccines, Gamescom announced that this year’s show would be a “hybrid” event featuring both online presentations and the return of a limited number of on-site visitors at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. Some felt Gamescom was perhaps getting ahead of themselves, and it seems they were right, as it’s now been announced the event will be returning to an all-digital format.

Ultimately, it seems the crucial issue isn’t so much the live fans, as the publishers themselves, as there was uncertainty whether some would be able to attend given the return of lockdowns in many parts of the world.

Gamescom 2021 Will be an In-Person/Digital “Hybrid” Event, Keighley Back for Opening Night

Even though the hybrid concept was very well received by the partners, we had to recognize that Gamescom still comes too early for many companies in the industry due to the required planning reliability. One thing is absolutely clear: All those involved now need planning reliability.  That's why we're going for a purely digital show again this year and, with sufficient lead time, will be able to offer the gaming community an even stronger online event at the end of August 2021.

It’s certainly disappointing to see a welcome return to normalcy like an in-person Gamescom get pushed back yet again, but COVID-19 is proving to be a stubborn foe, and this was probably the right choice. The organizers of Gamescom say they hope to try out their hybrid approach next year, but in the meantime, they’re still promising the return of the Geoff-Keighley-produced Opening Night Live show…

The German Games Industry Association want to build directly on the success of last year’s online event. Gamescom will once again be kicked off by the spectacular Gamescom: Opening Night Live with Geoff Keighley. The Gamescom now content hub is being completely relaunched in a more attractive design with numerous additional features for fans and partners. Also new is Gamescom epix, a community campaign that allows fans to playfully immerse themselves in the gamescom universe on the road to Gamescom.

Gamescom 2021 is slated to run from August 25 to August 29. Was anybody planning to attend in person or was it always too early to cram into a packed convention hall?

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