One of the largest gaming shows of the year is considering a different kind of presence this year, in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As the likelihood of a physical show seems uncertain, Gamescom 2020 is preparing for a larger presence in the digital world.
Gamescom 2020 is significantly expanding the digital side of its show, according to a statement from the event organizers. An evaluation set for mid-May will determine whether Gamescom 2020 will still take place onsite in Cologne for its scheduled dates of August 25 through 29, but meanwhile, the convention is planning for a digital presence at the same time.
"In the view of the corona crisis, we are now expanding all digital formats at full speed so that Gamescom 2020 can at least take place digitally in any case," said Felix Falk, managing director of German industry association Game, in a statement. Through broadcasts like Opening Night Live, Gamescom still hopes to reach its audience despite the limits of social distancing.
"Further expansion of our digital strategy is the way to go right now," said Falk.
Several major industry events, including GDC 2020 and E3 2020, have been called off in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though GDC seems optimistic, with a planned three-day summer event now scheduled for this coming August, those dates are still murky. Whether the global situation will have improved enough to host an event like Gamescom remains to be seen.
"When we reassess the situation in mid-May for all gamescom formats at the Cologne fair grounds, the health of our visitors will be our top priority," said Oliver Frese, managing director at Koelnmesse GMBH, one of Gamescom's organizers. "It goes without saying that preparations are well underway both physically and digitally."
Lead photo via Gamescom/Flickr, Koelnmesse Allgemein.