Gamescom has an exhibitor problem: Several well-known game companies canceled their participation when they returned to Cologne, reports the industry magazine Gameswirtschaft. Accordingly, Sony and Activision Blizzard will not be part of the game fair.
According to Gameswirtschaft, Nintendo, Wargaming and Take Two have already decided not to take part in Gamescom 2022. The games fair will take place from August 24th to 28th at the exhibition center of Koelnmesse, after the previous two years it was only held digitally. The game companies have not yet given any reasons for their cancellation.
Hope for EA and Microsoft
The cancellations hit Gamescom hard: The game companies mentioned were among the audience’s favorites, Activision’s Blizzard department in particular had attracted many spectators in previous years with elaborate stands and events. As a console manufacturer, Sony is also one of the most sought-after exhibitors. In 2019, when the fair last took place in Cologne, Sony had two top-class artists in its luggage with “Marvel’s Spider-Man” and “Death Stranding”.
In 2022, Sony and Blizzard will not be among the exhibitors. They shouldn’t be represented at the opening show “Opening Night Live” either, because slots in the live stream are usually reserved for game companies that are present, writes Gameswirtschaft.
Confirmations for Gamescom are currently rare. Other major gaming companies such as Ubisoft, EA and Microsoft have not yet commented on their participation. Hope rests primarily on Microsoft, which could bring several titles to Gamescom to play with. Otherwise, Gamescom could become a trade fair for medium-sized studios and indie developers. According to the organizer, 60,000 Gamescom tickets have already been sold.
Hybrid trade fair concept
Gamescom wants to implement a hybrid trade fair concept this year. As in the past two years, larger events are to be broadcast online via live stream. But this time, events are to take place again on site at Koelnmesse. The trade fair is intended to combine the digital events of the past few years, such as the Opening Night Live and the Gamescom Studio, with the classic trade fair activities on site. It starts on August 23 with the opening live stream, again moderated by Geoff Keighley, and from August 24 the exhibition center will open to visitors and specialist staff.
Further events will take place until the 28th, which can be followed both online and on site. They will be held in Hall 1 of the exhibition center, which will be filled for the first time by Gamescom. There, for example, e-sports tournaments and presentations are to take place, said Koelnmesse Managing Director Oliver Frese at the presentation of the trade fair concept in March.
The aim is to create the “look and feel” of the 2019 trade fair on site in Cologne. “The games industry longs for local events to return,” said Felix Falk, Managing Director of the Games industry association. After all, Gamescom is also about trying out games and establishing business relationships.
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