Home Gaming Gamescom 2020 will probably be an online-only event thanks to COVID-19

Gamescom 2020 will probably be an online-only event thanks to COVID-19

2 min read

I had plans dammit. Plans to go outside, and stretch my muscles at an international gaming convention. I’d been training to survive the hordes, I’d actually made an effort to be financially responsible instead of investing in a line of Jar Jar Binks punching bags and things were looking good for a return visit to the gaming convention pool whose deep end I had been thrown into when I first started writing about games in 2011.

And then that happened. A trip to Cologne and Gamescom 2020 is something that’s looking increasingly unlikely not only for me, but for pretty much the rest of Europe this year. The Coronavirus has claimed scores of victims, with Germany’s neighboring countries Spain and Italy being especially hard hit as scores of people died during the initial outbreak phase. Germany has also had a rough time, forcing the country into a lockdown where all major gatherings are prohibited until August 31. Which in case you’re wondering, is something that Gamescom happens to be.

Seriously, it’s an ocean of people that you have to swim through just to get to one of the many halls that are packed to the gills with fans and fellow gamers. Currently scheduled for a convention date of August 25 to August 29, that puts one of the best gaming shows of the year strictly in the verboten crosshairs of the German government, forcing Gamescom to adapt to a digital strategy for this year.

While the show organisers have yet to announce if a physical Gamescom presence is off the table, a recent press release has revealed that if the convention “cannot take place on location in Cologne by official order”, then ticket refunds for visitors and exhibitors will be processed as a digital strategy kicks in.

When we reassess the situation in mid-May for all gamescom formats at the Cologne fairgrounds, the health of our visitors will be our top priority. It goes without saying that preparations are well underway both physically and digitally.

Koelnmesse managing director Oliver Frese

It’ll be a shame if Gamescom 2020 has to close its doors, especially in light of E3 having zero physical or digital presence this year. What began as the European answer to E3 has evolved into the superior show over the years thanks to Gamescom’s focus on merging industry with consumers, creating a gargantuan explosion of video game reveals, hands-on showcases and taking place in a space that dwarfs the Electronic Entertainment Expo with publishers from all over the gaming spectrum.

That, and you can grab a damn good beer in Cologne while you’re there.

Last Updated: April 16, 2020

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