Gamescom 2020 may not go ahead, at least not in its traditional form. The German government has announced that the ban on large gatherings has been extended until at least the end of August, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to German newspaper, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, mass gathering events are prohibited until August 31, with the German government specifying that these measures are to contain Covid-19 and to “ensure urgent clarity for organizers”.
This year’s Gamescom is due to take place between August 25 and August 29 in Cologne, Germany; meaning the world’s largest gaming event is unlikely to go ahead – at least in a physical sense.
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What could happen instead?
It looked likely that Gamescom 2020 would be affected by Covid-19. After all, E3 2020 has already been cancelled and Microsoft is transitioning to “digital experiences” in the run-up to the Xbox Series X launch.
However, Gamescom organizers have not yet confirmed what will happen with the trade show. It’s likely we won’t see the event in a physical capacity, unless it’s rescheduled, but postponing a large show such as Gamescom isn’t that simple. Never mind the scale of the show, it’s one of the last major gaming events to take place before the release of the next-gen consoles in late 2020, and a delay could mean any game announcements would be too late.
Which brings us on to the biggest draw of Gamescom: Geoff Keighley’s Opening Night Live show. Introduced at Gamescom 2019, Opening Night Live acted as a mini E3, showcasing upcoming games and premiering new contenders. Last year’s Opening Night Live boasted plenty of announcements and even gave us the best look at Death Stranding before its release.
If Gamescom 2020 won’t be a physical show, we’re hoping Keighley will still hold the announcement stream in lieu of a live event. In fact, we could see Gamescom going digital altogether. However, it’s likely we will see the show cancelled.
After all, the ESA planned to hold E3 2020 digitally and instead cancelled the event altogether with publishers and developers opting to hold their own digital announcements instead.
For now, we can only speculate until we receive official confirmation from Gamescom organizers. We will update you as soon as we know more.
TechRadar has contacted organizers Verband der deutschen Games-Branche for comment.
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