The past year has been tough on physical events, as the ongoing COVID-19 situation prevented mass gatherings of large groups of people in public spaces. As the pandemic started to slow down and vaccines have started rolling out, there was hope for some “hybrid” event plans for Gamescom 2021, but the organizers have revealed they are now officially switching back to an all digital event.
The announcement comes after multiple event partners were not yet prepared enough to plan for physical conventions: “even though the hybrid concept was very well received by the partners, we had to recognize that Gamescom still comes too early for many companies in the industry due to the required planning reliability,” said Oliver Frese, the Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse.
“One thing is absolutely clear: All those involved now need planning reliability. That's why we're going for a purely digital Gamescom again this year and, with sufficient lead time, will be able to offer the gaming community an even stronger online event at the end of August 2021.”
Last year’s Gamescom event was also completely digital in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, so expect the same structure again this time round. There will be the usual Opening Night Live show on August 25th, but in the lead up to that there will also be something called the “Gamescom Epix”.
Gamescom Epix is “a community campaign that allows fans to playfully immerse themselves in the Gamescom universe on the road to Gamescom,” so fans can get excited in anticipation for the latest game reveals and deep dives.
It’s not exactly the most surprising news considering every other gaming convention of the year like E3 2021 also looked into plans for a hybrid structure, but ultimately decided to stick to an all digital formula again.
What do you think? Are you excited for Gamescom 2021? Do you prefer the idea of an all digital event? And would you like to see hybrid events in the future even after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control? Let us know!