The organizers of Gamescom, the world’s largest gaming event, have announced that Gamescom 2020 will take place digitally as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. The news comes following the German government extending its ban on major events and large gatherings until August 31.
As a result of this, Gamescom, which is scheduled to take place from August 25 to August 29 in Cologne, Germany, is affected. The official Gamescom Twitter account addressed the news, confirming that it is currently planning a digital version of the event. You can see the tweet below.
❗ Even though not all details are known at present, the nationwide ban on major events until the end of August will also affect the planning for #gamescom2020. Furthermore: gamescom 2020 will definitely take place digitally! We will provide further information shortly. ❗
— gamescom (@gamescom) April 15, 2020
Earlier this year, GDC postponed its March event in San Francisco, Calif. to August and E3 outright canceled its June expo in Los Angeles, Calif. due to the continued spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. As of this writing, the World Health Organization reports more than 1.9 million known cases of COVID-19 infections and more than 123,000 deaths attributed to the virus. More than 127,000 cases are currently known in Germany, the host country of Gamescom.
On March 31, Gamescom said it would be significantly expanding its digital presence in response to the COVID-19 threat, even though it still seemed optimistic it would be able to hold a physical event. In this same March 31 press release, the German Games Industry Association said it would make an evaluation of the physical event’s status in mid-May. While this extension on the nationwide major events ban in Germany may have accelerated those plans, we still don’t know much about what the digital event will look like, though it will likely feature an increased emphasis on Gamescom Opening Night Live featuring The Game Awards’ Geoff Keighley.
Gamescom 2019 attracted approximately 373,000 attendees from across the globe. The annual event has taken place in the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany since 2009.
[Source: Gamescom on Twitter]