gamescom 2021 focuses on the societal potential of games for the post-pandemic era
- ‘Games: The New Normal’ is the central theme of gamescom 2021
- gamescom trends 2021: ‘more games for less money’ and ‘live streaming’
Currently, 6 out of 10 Germans play games on a regular basis, as do more than 2.2 billion people worldwide – and there is no denying the huge potential of games. Computer and video games make millions of people happy every day, especially in difficult times like the pandemic, and they have long been used in companies, schools, retirement homes and museums. This year’s gamescom aims to highlight the enormous potential of games with its central theme ‘Games: The New Normal’. After all, the pandemic has clearly demonstrated once again the importance of games in society and the potential that still needs to be developed.
‘Games are a natural part of everyday life for billions of people around the world – for entertainment, work and education. Today, no one is surprised to see concerts, election campaigns and even church services set in computer and video games. This shows the potential of games, which we have only just begun to explore. Likewise, after the Covid-19 pandemic, the more digital and networked world will rely more than ever on games and their technologies,’ says Felix Falk, Managing Director of game. ‘This makes it all the more important now, also politically, to have a clear plan for how we can tap the tremendous potential of games even better in the future. With the recently introduced games strategy, we now have a strong concept at the national level. Now it is up to the next federal government to put concrete measures in place. This is something we also want to talk about at the political opening of gamescom and the Debatt(l)e Royale with the leading representatives of the political parties in Germany.’
Trend: ‘more games for less money’
Never before have so many games been available to play completely free of charge. On PCs, consoles and smartphones, millions of players use a wide variety of games in all genres free of charge – alone or with their friends. Still, many fans like to invest money in their free-to-play games, for instance to customise their gaming experience. And even full-price games can now be played as a standard feature of increasingly comprehensive subscription services that are available for just a few euros a month. So, despite a sharp rise in production costs in recent years, it has never been as affordable to play such a wide variety of games as it is today.
Trend: ‘live streaming’
Live streaming on platforms like Facebook Gaming, Twitch and YouTube has been one of the fastest-growing phenomena in games culture in recent years. Live streaming events with gaming communities have long since become the campfire of the digital age. This is where today’s creative talents meet their fans for a unique exchange of ideas. Increasingly, the unparalleled combination of live streaming and a community is also being used outside the gaming world, for example for music and sports events, and this is gradually blurring the boundary between creators and audiences. gamescom also relies on the phenomenon of live streaming to delight millions of fans worldwide with shows like gamescom: Opening Night Live and the formats of its many partners.
In recent years, gamescom has emerged as an important platform for political exchange. This year again, there will be several events for this purpose with the political opening of gamescom, the gamescom congress and the Debatt(l)e Royale. These special events will kick off with the political opening on 26 August from 10 a.m. On the same day, the gamescom congress starts, Europe’s leading event devoted to the potential of computer games in a digitalised world. Finally, on 27 August, the Debatt(l)e Royale will take place at 12.30 p.m.
gamescom is the world’s largest event for computer and video games, as well as Europe’s largest business platform for the games industry. In 2021, gamescom will be an exclusively digital event from Wednesday, 25 August, to Friday, 27 August. Events will not take place on-site in Cologne this year. gamescom is jointly organised by Koelnmesse and game – the German Games Industry Association.
game – the German Games Industry Association
We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.
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