• gamescom sets new record with 350,000 visitors
• Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel opens gamescom for the first time
• More than 150 political guests visit gamescom this year
Berlin, 26 August 2017 – New records for gamescom: this year, 350,000 visitors came to Cologne for the world’s largest computer and video game event, even more than in the previous year. The number of exhibitors also increased by 5 per cent to 919 companies. This was announced earlier today by the event organiser Koelnmesse and the BIU, the German Games Industry Association and sponsor of gamescom. This year, much attention was generated by the high number of political visitors, including Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, who was there to open gamescom for the first time. The gamescom congress began with a speech by Prof. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs and Digitisation of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Just a few weeks before the German parliamentary elections, a discussion panel featuring a number of prominent politicians – Dr Peter Tauber (CDU), Hubertus Heil (SPD), Matthias Höhn (Die Linke), Michael Kellner (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) and Nicola Beer (FDP) – was held in the Political Arena. In total, over 150 politicians from all major parties visited gamescom this year, including Federal Minister of Family Affairs Katarina Barley (SPD) and Cem Özdemir (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). The partner country at this year’s gamescom was Canada.
‘gamescom 2017 was a resounding success: already the world’s largest computer and video game event, it grew even further in all relevant areas.’
Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU
‘gamescom 2017 was a resounding success: already the world’s largest computer and video game event, it grew even further in all relevant areas,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU, the German Games Industry Association which also organises gamescom. ‘And never before have so many politicians come to gamescom. Particular highlights were the opening of the event by Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and the discussion panel in the Political Arena featuring high-calibre guests. The high level of interest among political representatives is a further indication of the esteem in which gamescom’s unique success story is held as well as being a universal acknowledgement of the importance of computer and video games as a cultural asset, economic factor and innovation driver. We hope that the underlying conditions for the games sector will be improved as quickly as possible following the election. Above all, it is of vital importance to bring financial support for game developers up to international levels. Only in this way will it be possible to overcome the marked competitive disadvantages compared with countries such as France, Canada and the UK.’
Focus on communal games
The central theme at this year’s gamescom was ‘Just play together’, shifting the focus to the unique social components of computer and video games. At many different stands in Cologne’s trade fair centre, visitors were able to get a first-hand impression of the many new and extremely easy ways to play with others anywhere and at any time. Another trend at gamescom 2017 was the ‘professionalisation of e-sports’. A wide range of e-sports tournaments on the trade fair grounds illustrated the rapid development of digital sports into a mass phenomenon that is also attracting more and more attention from the realms of business and politics. The outstanding technical innovation underlying the games sector was underlined by the trend ‘innovations for unlimited game worlds’: computer and video games are clear forerunners in developing new technologies such as virtual reality and in establishing new standards such as 4K and HDR (high-definition rendering), which pave the way for even larger and more active game worlds.
Photos from the gamescom opening with Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel can be found here: https://www.biu-online.de/impressionen-gamescom-eroeffnung-2017/
The speech in German made by Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel at the opening of gamescom can be found here: https://www.bundeskanzlerin.de/Content/DE/Rede/2017/08/2017-08-22-rede-merkel-gamescom.html
BIU – the German Games Industry Association
We are the association of the German games industry. Our members are developers and providers of digital games and represent over 85 per cent of the German market. We are the sponsor of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, we answer questions on topics such as market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the leading location for game development.
BIU, the German Games Industry Association
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408779-11