Gamescom (stylized as gamescom) is an annual trade fair for video games and interactive entertainment that takes place in the city of Cologne, Germany. It is the largest gaming event in the world in terms of exhibition space and attendance with 345,000 attendees, over 6,000 journalists and 700 exhibitors from almost 90 countries.

gamescom can be considered the successor of the Games Convention (GC), an annual video game event that was held in Leipzig between 2002 and 2008. One of the GC's main organizers was the BIU (Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware / Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software). In 2008, the BIU announced that it would not support the Games Convention anymore, preferring the newly created gamescom in Cologne. The Games Convention had to switch to online format and was discontinued altogether after two online editions.

The inaugural gamescom was held from August 19–23, 2009 at Koelnmesse, an international trade fair and exhibition center that still remains its main venue. Notable exhibitors included 2K Games, Activision, Atari, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Konami, Microsoft, Namco Bandai, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, and Ubisoft. Notable announcements included the PlayStation 3 Slim, Fable III, and the release of Fable II on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The event attracted around 245,000 attendees.

gamescom has quickly become one of the most important events in the video game industry. Many video game developers use it to show off their upcoming releases as well as new game-related hardware. The event features a large entertainment area, gaming, music and show acts, panels, family events, cosplay events, contests and competitions, demos and presentations, and more.

The fairgrounds are divided into several areas, each with a unique set of events and activities: the Indoor Area, the Outdoor Area, the Social Media Stage, Family & Friends, the Cosplay Village, the Gamescom Campus, the Gamescom Congress, the Gamescom Festival, and the camping site.

Gamescom is associated with two game developers conferences. The Respawn Conference is held a few days before gamescom and the Game Developers Conference Europe (GDC Europe) runs concurrently with the expo.

In 2020 and 2021, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Photo: Sergey Galyonkin




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