Major video game trade show Gamescom has scrapped plans for a hybrid physical-digital show in favour of a fully online event.
Following an in-person show in 2019, the Cologne, Germany-based event had to shift to an all-digital show in 2020. Now, The German Games Industry Association has once again decided to make Gamescom all-digital, noting that “too many companies are unable to participate in physical events this year due to the still difficult development.”
This year’s Gamescom will take place from August 25th to 27th and will be open to everyone around the world for free on the official Gamescom website. Full details on programming will be revealed in the coming weeks, but The German Games Industry Association has confirmed for now that Geoff Keighley — the Canadian creator of The Game Awards — is returning to produce Gamescom Opening Night Live.
This year @gamescom will once again be all digital.
It will kick off with Opening Night Live, which I am producing again on Wednesday, August 25 — as a free livestream for everyone around the world.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) May 5, 2021
Taking place on the evening of the 25th, the event will feature a variety of game reveals and other announcements. For context, last year’s Keighley-produced Opening Night Live featured a gameplay demo for PS5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, a behind-the-scenes look at BioWare Edmonton’s Dragon Age 4 and a trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, among other highlights.
This summer is shaping up to be a big one for gaming events. In June, E3 is returning for an all-digital event, as is Keighley’s Summer Game Fest. Further, Xbox has confirmed that it will have a big games showcase sometime this summer, during which it will reveal more from its recently acquired Bethesda studios.