No time to take a break! After a feverish start to summer stateside with E3 and Comic-Con, the gaming world now turns its attention to Europe – specifically, the German city of Cologne for Gamescom. A fixture on the global gaming calendar since 2009, Gamescom is the second largest games event in the world (in terms of attendance) and by far gaming’s biggest stage in Europe. It started as an evolution of Games Convention (an annual event held in Leipzig), but has since distinguished itself as one of the year’s most important events, attracting larger crowds, bigger announcements, better beer and the world’s finest games.
A celebration of gaming
The tagline of Gamescom is “Celebrate the Games,” which encapsulates the spirit of the event. Executive director of EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) Alain Corre sums it up nicely: “Gamescom has a very special energy about it, and the passion and dedication of the fans really comes across.” Held in the impressive Koelnmesse in downtown Cologne, Gamescom is spread over 140,000 square meters (that’s 1,506,947 square feet, or roughly twice the size of E3). Scattered amongst the seemingly infinite sea of gamers are around 650 exhibitors, 6,000-plus journalists, a ton of YouTubers and some of the most exceptional bratwurst you’re likely to find at a gaming convention. There’s also a strong eSports presence, with notable events like the first Dota 2 International (held back in 2011), as well as major tournaments for fan favorites like League of Legends, StarCraft and many others. Toss in a few pints of tasty German beer and you’re in for one heck of a show.
All about the Fans
While E3 is at its core a trade show, Gamescom is all about fans. With cosplay ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, roaring crowds ready to tear the roof off for a t-shirt and the excitement of live hands-on competition, it’s an experience built for fans. It’s also a chance for our teams to stretch their legs, wander the floor and hear from the gamers themselves what they think of their creations. This feedback isn’t just important for the teams at the show but can also impact the development of the game, as Alain Corre outlines: “Gamescom is a key moment for us because we put our games in the hands of the gamers and get their feedback directly. Having that opportunity ahead of release is priceless, because we can look at where we need to focus in the last few weeks of development, and get an idea of how the game will perform when it’s released.”
We will be taking full advantage of your invaluable feedback (yes, you too) again this year with our Community Corner, a special area in the Ubisoft booth where fans can meet our teams, ask questions, see demos and get a dev’s-eye-view of some of our titles.
What to expect from Ubisoft
We unveiled a stellar lineup last week for this year’s event and, as CEO Yves Guillemot highlighted, “we’re hopeful that every type of gamer will find something to enjoy.” Gamers lucky enough to be on the floor will be able to get their hands on playable demos for Assassin’s Creed Rogue, The Crew and Just Dance Now, as well as our biggest-ever demo installation with 90 playable pods for Far Cry 4. You can see everything we have at the show in more detail here: Ubisoft at Gamescom 2014
August 12, 2014
The big events kick off tomorrow with first-party conferences from PlayStation and Xbox. Both companies have teased big announcements so be sure to tune in. Xbox will be leading off with their conference starting at 2pm Central European Time (5am PDT). PlayStation follows at 7pm Central European Time (9am PDT). You can watch both streams on their websites.
August 13–17, 2014
After the announcements it’s down to the serious business. The entertainment area will open and around 350,000 screaming gamers will stream through the turnstiles to soak up the greatest games on the planet. If you’re lucky enough to attend, do yourself a favor grab a currywurst and park yourself at Hall 6, space A021 – you won’t be disappointed. If you can’t make it, you can keep up to date with the latest here on Twitter & Facebook. Please note that access is restricted on Wednesday, August 13, to VIP guests and exhibitors only.