Gamescom, the largest video games convention in the world, will not take place this year.
The decision to cancel the 2020 event comes after the German government announced a ban on all major events until August 31. Gamescom was scheduled for August 22-24, meaning it only just fell within the bounds of the event ban. The event funnels almost 400,000 guests, from punters to media, through Cologne every year. Its cancellation is yet another blow to Cologne, a city known for hosting large scale events.
To combat the ban, Gamescom will instead take their show online. How they will accomplish this, and whether Gamescom will charge for that online experience, remains to be seen.
❗ Even though not all details are known at present, the nationwide ban on major events until the end of August will also affect the planning for #gamescom2020. Furthermore: gamescom 2020 will definitely take place digitally! We will provide further information shortly. ❗
— gamescom (@gamescom) April 15, 2020
Gamescom isn’t the only high profile gaming event to close its doors this year. E3 announced in mid-March that its 2020 show would not be going ahead. In February, Game Developers Conference (GDC) was forced to cancel its yearly event with less than a week to go.
Gamescom is still set to launch a new Singapore-based convention in November, Gamescom Asia. There is no word on whether the global outbreak of COVID-19 will impact that show at this time.