Gamescom Cancelled Due to Coronavirus? – Update: Now Officially Cancelled
Honestly, it was bound to happen. Around a month ago I wrote about how Gamescom and Koelnmesse were still planning to go ahead despite current fears over the coronavirus pandemic. Following the cancellation of GDC, E3 and EGX Rezzed, it was always going to be a challenge to get Gamescom up and running, even with it being scheduled for the end of August. As of today, we can class Gamescom as cancelled, or at least forced to reschedule which will likely be a challenge.
In a tweet posted by GamesWirtschaft, it has been revealed that the German government has extended its ban on all mass gatherings until August 31st, at the earliest. This is guaranteed to have an impact on Gamescom.
BREAKING NEWS#Bundesregierung und Ministerpräsidenten verlängern Verbot von #Großveranstaltungen bis einschließlich 31. August 2020. Mehr gleich bei GamesWirtschaft ... #Covid19de #CoronaVirusDE pic.twitter.com/kd3sukEPTs
— GamesWirtschaft (@gameswirtschaft) April 15, 2020
Using the power of Google translate, this tweet says:
# Federal government and prime ministers extend ban on # large events up to and including August 31, 2020. More right away at GamesWirtschaft ... # Covid19de #CoronaVirusDE
Gamescom was scheduled to take place between the 25th and 29th of August so, unless Gamescom and the Koelnmesse, where it's held, are able to rearrange then it's likely that the largest gaming event in Europe will go ahead this year. A further issue with rescheduling is that it becomes even more congested, with EGX, the largest gaming event in the UK, being scheduled for the 17th to the 20th of September.
I can't honestly find fault with the decision, despite the fact that I look forward to going to Gamescom every year. The German government has been on top of the coronavirus pandemic from a very early stage, testing far beyond that of most countries and tracing the virus from person to person. Only time will tell to see if Gamescom can be rescheduled but keep your eyes on the site because as soon as I know, you'll know.
Update @ 18:16 GMT, 16th April
A little over one hour ago Gamescom officially announced that the event has been cancelled on a statement made via a Tweet. The statement reads as follows:
It’s official: unfortunately, Gamescom will under no circumstances take place on site in Cologne this year. Just like many of you, we are disappointed, because as the Gamescom team, we have been working on a wonderful Gamescom 2020 for months, just like the many exhibitors. However, it is also quite clear to us that, in the face of the corona pandemic, we must stand united. This means that we must all be considerate of each other and reduce the risk of infection.
We are, however, already working at full speed on a digital Gamescom. It is, after all, the world’s biggest event for games, and that’s what it should be again this year. You can already look forward to how we will celebrate the best games and Gamescom together with you and millions of gamers worldwide at the end of August, even if it will only be digital and not on location this time. Because one thing is certain: this year, too, Gamescom is and will remain “the Heart of Gaming”!
We will reveal more about this in the next few weeks. Until then, stay healthy and don’t forget to #StayHomePlayTogether!