Last month, we reported that Gamescom would officially return this year as a hybrid event consisting of digital presentations with in-person entertainment and fan events. Unfortunately, similar to many other events like it, the call has been made to once again cancel all physical events related to the expo.
NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER! 🚨 #gamescom2021 goes digital! Ready for an adventure? ➡️ gamescom epix will lead you on a special quest 🎉💯 Back again: gamescom: Opening Night Live with @geoffkeighley and our awesome shows. Statement: https://t.co/kV25mQWAJT pic.twitter.com/qBM5qiE8AP
— gamescom (@gamescom) May 5, 2021
As a result of the shift back to an all-digital format, the Opening Night Live digital event with Geoff Keighley will be held one day later than initially planned, and will now air on August 25th. With no physical events to fill out the rest of the original time slots for the expo, the length of the event will be shortened even further and will now come to a close on August 27th, two days earlier than originally planned.
This year @gamescom will once again be all digital.
It will kick off with Opening Night Live, which I am producing again on Wednesday, August 25 — as a free livestream for everyone around the world.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) May 5, 2021
Oliver Frese, The Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse – who are one of the organizers of Gamescom – had this to share in a lengthy four-page statement on the decision to return to an all-digital format:
“Together with game – The German Games Industry Association, we have put all our energy into making gamescom 2021 in a hybrid format possible for fans and industry alike. However, even though the hybrid concept was very well received by the partners, we had to recognize that gamescom still comes too early for many companies in the industry due to the required planning reliability. One thing is absolutely clear: All those involved now need planning reliability. That’s why we’re going for a purely digital gamescom again this year and, with sufficient lead time, will be able to offer the gaming community an even stronger online event at the end of August 2021…”
While it is a bummer to see the physical portion of Gamescom being cancelled once again, it’s relieving to know that the show will still go on. It may not be as much of a return to normalcy as many have hoped, but we will still have that last big event to send off the game announcement season with a bang, and that’s something to be very excited about!