gamescom 2023 is officially open

gamescom 2023, the world’s largest games event  was officially opened by the political guests of honour. These included Robert Habeck, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Hendrik Wüst, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne and Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Koelnmesse.

In their addresses, the speakers repeatedly referred to the great economic importance, cultural potency and innovative spirit of the games industry. They described the industry as indispensable to Germany’s standing as a business location and, accordingly, in light of the recent renewed stop in federal funding until the end of 2024, called for a rapid improvement in the framework conditions for game companies to an internationally competitive level. This, they said, would require greater plannability and a clear funding concept, without which the huge potential of games in Germany could hardly be leveraged. In particular, the speakers emphasised the special importance of gamescom as the world’s largest games event and beacon for Germany as a games location, as attested by the record number of 1,220 exhibitors, 76 per cent of whom come from abroad.

The video of the political opening ceremony of gamescom 2023 can be viewed on demand here:

Robert Habeck, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action: “The gaming industry is an important driver of innovation – for our economic location as well as for our IT-Experts of tomorrow. Therefore, the BMWK supports video game development, among other things, with the federal video game funding, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the industry and to make Germany an internationally relevant, leading market for the development of digital products.”

Hendrik Wüst, Minister President of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia: “It is not a matter of course that a trade fair still attracts many tens of thousands of people today. Gamescom has managed to survive the pandemic and come back even stronger. This demonstrates how much video games have arrived in the middle of our society. They fascinate millions and are undoubtedly a driver of innovation in our country. This requires the best skilled workers and reliable political conditions. German games companies have voted North Rhine-Westphalia the best business location in Germany. This award is also an incentive for us. We want all of Germany to be as attractive as North Rhine-Westphalia as a location for the gaming industry, so that international specialists will come to us. We need this goal, with predictability and a clear funding concept, at the federal level as well.”

Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – the German Games Industry Association: ‘Once a year, in late August, gamescom places us at the centre of the games world. The entire games community and industry converges on Germany to celebrate our great games culture. But to draw the attention of the international games world to Germany much more regularly, we urgently need stronger political support. So I’m thrilled that Robert Habeck, Hendrik Wüst and Henriette Reker are opening gamescom, and that hundreds more politicians will be coming to Cologne over the next few days to see the games for themselves and grasp their enormous potential. We must work together to enable Germany to produce more games and games technologies in the future. This will take reliable, plannable and internationally competitive framework conditions. Only then will Germany be able to actually play at the international level rather than watch from the sidelines.’

Henriette Reker, Mayor of the City of Cologne and Chair of Koelnmesse’s Supervisory Board: “gamescom has been an established fixture on the calendar of trade fairs in Cologne since 2009, and chance played no part in the selection of the city as the venue. We offer the gaming industry an outstanding ecosystem for its continued growth. Around 80 operators in the gaming industry employ approximately 1,600 people in Cologne and generate sales of at least 240 million euros. And in close collaboration, the City of Cologne and KölnBusiness as its economic development agency are committed to maintaining Cologne’s position as a highly attractive location for the gaming industry. Together, we will make sure that exhibitors from across the globe continue to gather in Cologne for gamescom.”

Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, commented: “This year, the world’s largest gaming festival boasts more exhibitors, more floorspace and a more international profile than ever before. We’re very proud that 76 percent of our over 1,220 exhibitors are attending from outside Germany – a fact that reinforces gamescom’s growth trajectory. I am only able to announce this great news thanks to the excellent collaboration between Koelnmesse, gamescom’s partners and our co-organizer, game, the German Games Industry Association. My sincere thanks to everyone involved!”

About gamescom

gamescom is the world’s largest event for computer and video games, as well as Europe’s largest business platform for the game industry. In 2023, gamescom was held from Tuesday, 22 August, to Sunday, 27 August, in Cologne and online. 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 represent the entire video game ecosystem, from development studios and publishers to esports event organisers, educational institutions and other related entities. We are co-organisers of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are a shareholder in the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK), the Foundation for Digital Games Culture, the esports player foundation, devcom and the collecting society VHG, as well as co-host of the German Computer Game Awards. Serving as a central point of contact for media, as well as political and social institutions, we provide comprehensive expertise in areas including market development, game culture and media literacy, and address any inquiries or concerns. Together we are making Germany the heart of gaming worldwide. With games, we enrich the lives of all people.

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