“The new record for visitors and the number of exhibitors, as well as the renewed increase in internationality impressively underline the status of gamescom as the world’s largest event revolving around computer and video games.” This is how Felix Falk, managing director of the BIU, the association of the German games industry and sponsor of gamescom commented. gamescom 2017 took place from 22 to 26 August in Cologne, Germany.
355,000 visitors from 106 countries celebrated gamescom, “The Heart of Gaming”. With 30,700 trade visitors, gamescom also registered slight growth in comparison with 2016. The leading European trade fair for digital gaming attracted the record-breaking number of 919 companies from 54 countries, occupying 201,000 m². To get an idea, this is more than 10 times the floor size of I/ITSEC – comparing visitor figures, I/ITSEC 2016 registered 5,100 visitors!
The accompanying conference programme, encompassed the gamescom congress, the e-sports congress SPOBIS Gaming & Media, as well as the new developer event devcom. The fact that gamescom was opened for the first time by Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, not only added a certain glamour to the event, it also demonstrates the increasing economic value created by this ever growing industry. Market reports see the 2.2 billion gamers across the globe generate $108.9 billion in game revenues in 2017. Canada, for example, the official partner country of gamescom 2017, ranks third behind only the US and Japan in terms of video gaming production. Canada’s video gaming industry contributes over $3 billion annually to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Many productions showcased during gamescom had Virtual Reality in their focus. More and more players may be physically included into the scenario – this creates fantastic new opportunities, which go far beyond frisky playing. About 40 stands had to do with public or educational institutions – domestic as well as international. The approach to include educational contents in a playful way into software is by far not exhausted yet. Regarding edutainment or serious gaming one might expect more for the gamescoms to come. In addition to the spectacular presentations of the exhibitors, the social media stage powered by the BMVI (Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure), the cosplay village, the gamescom campus, family and friends, as well as many more outdoor and indoor actions were popular meeting points for visitors. Here, one thing becomes clear: gamescom is no longer just a playground but also a place to find and recruit next generation computer specialists.
The next gamescom will take place from Tuesday, 21 August to Saturday, 25 August 2018, again in Cologne.