One of the biggest electronic entertainment trade shows in the world, and the biggest in Europe, has announced its itinerary for August 17-21 in Cologne, Germany. The show's "partner" country will ironically be the United Kingdom, which recently dropped tax breaks for videogame developers, causing a migration from the UK to cities like Montreal, where development is subsidized.
The goliath of a trade show will feature over 505 exhibitors, including such industry giants such as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, THQ, KochMedia/ DeepSilver, Konami, Namco Bandai, Warner Bros, Take-Two Interactive and Bethesda Softworks. Sega and Capcom will also be playing a key role in the show.
Gamescom is different from E3 in that while there will be over 120,000 square metres of exhibition space, there will be the entertainment halls that will allow the average, non-media gamer to see and sometimes play some of the hot upcoming games. There is an exclusive business area and a meeting place for the trade, but the show isn't only devoted to industry folks and media.
Nowhere is this more evident than Sunday, August 21, which is Family Day. On that day, a steeply reduced family ticket price of 20 EUR (max two adults / and up to three children aged 7-17) will be made available, allowing parents and children to sample a whole range of games. One of the more attractive exhibitions will be the Leipzig School of Computer Games, where a parent and child, "e.g. father and son, has 20 minutes to modify a computer casing in line with a given theme (e.g. a particular game title, genre, or “gamescom” etc.) as their fancy takes them." The Family Day is not all fun and games, though. At the Speaker’s Corner in hall 8 there will be family-themed talks on a range of subjects such as educational computer use and away from the games there will also be a wide range of other family activities - both indoor and outdoor. For example in the outside area there will be surfing and the BigFM Beach, while indoors there will be other sports events on the ‘extra level’ in hall 10. This is an acknowledgement of the integral role of games in family life, and how to incorporate it into the healthy fresh air activities as well.
Finally, the Gamescom Awards are being made for the first time covering nine categories:
* Best PC Game * Best Console Game * Best Mobile Game * Best Online Game * Best Browser Game * Best Family Game * Best Hardware / Accessory * Best of gamescom * Best Innovation at gamescom (optional)
* Best Console Game
* Best Mobile Game
* Best Online Game
* Best Browser Game
* Best Family Game
* Best Hardware / Accessory
* Best of gamescom
* Best Innovation at gamescom (optional)
Let us know if you'll be attending the trade show, who's party atmosphere will be extending into all parts of Cologne itself.