Following the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus last year, many exhibitions and events in the tech and gaming industries had to be cancelled or forced to go virtual. Now that a year has passed by and things are finally starting to look better, the world is attempting to roll back to pre-pandemic ways.
Today the gamescom team revealed that the yearly gaming exhibition will not be fully digital like last year. Instead, the event's organizers have opted for a hybrid approach this year. The gaming-centred show will be held virtually as well as physically at the German city of Cologne.
2021's video game trade fair kicks off on August 25 and ends on August 29, 2021. The gamescom team revealed that although last year's show went great, visitors missed out on the experience of playing game demos in-person which is a crucial element of the event. Felix Falk, managing director of the German Games Industry Association and co-organiser of the gaming fair, commented on this aspect of the show:
"In late summer, we are striving to make an on-site gamescom event possible for the gaming fans again at last. We will hereby be placing a focus on the superfans and the on-site testing of the latest games this year. At the same time, gamescom 2021 will once again reach millions of people worldwide as a result of the further developed digital offers. The results of the community surveys confirm this concept, which we have developed in close cooperation with many of the most important exhibitors. Without doubt, the preparations for all people involved will be much more demanding than usual in the light of this special situation. But the enthusiasm of the gaming community definitely makes these efforts worthwhile!"
Even though the event's organizers have promised that all safety precautions will be taken, there is still a chance that gamescom 2021 will only be held virtually. In a press release, the gamescom team admitted that if the pandemic situation worsens, the show will no longer be hybrid and revert to last year's fully digital format instead.