Gamescom, the world’s largest gaming event, won’t be taking place in Cologne, Germany as planned this August. Following a nation-wide ban on major events, Gamescom 2020 will be taking place online due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Germany’s nationwide ban on major events is slated to last “at least until August 31st,” the German government says in an April 15th decree (German). Originally slated to take place the week of August 24th, organizers now say the expo will be happening digitally.
To what extent that’s possible—outside of livestreaming keynotes, game announces, and developer talks from Devcom—organizers still haven’t said. Organizers say more concrete information will be announced in mid-May, and that ticket refunds will be sent out to attendees in the meantime.
Gamescom is best defined by its giant exhibition halls where over 370,000 attendees last year waited in line last year to try out the latest games for the first time. It’s also essentially where Europe-based gamers and media get the first opportunity go hands-on with games traditionally unveiled at E3, which is held in Los Angeles in June.
As one of the last holdouts, Gamescom follows a string gaming and industry trade show cancellations, notably starting with Mobile World Congress in February. Facebook’s Oculus Connect developer conference was also recently cancelled, which typically takes place in late September.
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