The 2016 gamescom trade show, held from August 17 to 21, drew a record number of exhibitors to the Koelnmesse exhibition centre in Cologne, Germany.
The 2016 edition of gamescom, the world's largest trade show for consumer video games, was held from August 17 to 21 at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. The international trade fair and exhibition centre welcomed 877 companies from 54 countries, setting a new record for the event, and drew around 345,000 visitors from 97 countries, including 30,500 trade visitors.
The gamescom week kicked off with the Game Developers Conference, the world's largest professionals-only game industry event, which was held on August 15 and 16 at the Koelnmesse. The two events work together to immerse visitors in all areas of the games industry and all those who purchased a GDC Europe pass automatically got admission to both shows.
The theme for this year's gamescom, “Heroes in New Dimensions,” was reflected both in the rich offering of stage activities and game demos, with hundreds of premieres and new blockbuster titles taking centre stage, and in the extensive supporting program, which included a social media stage, a cosplay village, the gamescom campus, and a number of other events.
The gamescom congress program, held under the motto “The future is playing,” provided a platform for dialogue about the latest trends and the future of the gaming industry. The program was divided into five themes – Knowledge, Business, Legal, Life and Applied Interactive Technologies – and offered informative insights from experts and industry professionals in each of these areas.
The exhibitors and presenters at the trade show included gaming industry giants Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Konami, Activision and Sega, who brought their latest and most anticipated releases to the event. Ubisoft offered visitors an opportunity to play the upcoming Just Dance 2017, while Konami treated them to Metal Gear Survive and playable demo booths for Winning Eleven 2017. The event also welcomed a number of smaller innovative industry players, including Icaros with its innovative fitness platform that allows users to fly through virtual worlds, and narayana games, which invited visitors to test their rhythm skills with the mixed reality virtual reality music game Holodance. Blue Goji showcased its upcoming Active Gaming/Active VR offerings, supporting both the Goji Play platform and third party games, on popular VR headsets and non-VR platforms.
The 2016 gamescom did not feature any next generation gaming consoles, but it did present interesting new hardware in the areas of gaming PCs and virtual reality platforms, with products including the PlayStation VR headset, Oculus Touch, Xbox One S consoles, and HP’s Omen X VR PC prominently on display at the event.
The trade show was divided into several areas and each offered visitors a variety of fun activities to explore. The indoor area, for instance, hosted a live laser tag event, while the outdoor area provided a setting for the Lexus COS Cup, in which pro-skaters competed in a series of individual championships and contests, and the Red Bull X-Fighters FMX Demo Show, which entertained visitors with breathtaking action and risky jumps performed by motorcross pros.
The gamescom family & friends area offered a fun, child-friendly environment, where children could test their athletic skills, take part in skateboarding workshops, or enjoy video game classics in the retro gaming area. The gamescom campus 2016 hosted a number of interesting shows, presentations, discussions and time travels through the history of video games, and the cosplay village featured a cosplay contest, repair shop, gaming corner and photo booths for cosplayers to commemorate their visit. The winners of the 2016 gamescom awards were announced at a ceremony held on the social media stage on August 19, while the gamescom city festival invited visitors for an entire weekend of music events, celebrations of virtual culture, and even a street food festival in the Cologne city centre.
Gamescom will return to the Koelnmesse from August 22 to 26, 2017.
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