Gamescom, the annual trade fair held in Cologne, Germany, will not take place this year owing to a new nationwide event ban in the country (via Siliconera).
After lengthening the lockdown in Germany from April 19 to May 3, the new ban on events will extend until August 31, 2020, which means that Gamescom 2020 will be unable to proceed as planned. Those who purchased tickets to the trade fair will be refunded, but the event will be transformed into a digital event. How this will work is yet to be announced, as the organisers are reacting to the government’s actions as they arise.
Last month, the organisers were confident, stating that “preparations for the gamescom2020 are continuing as planned,” in spite of the pandemic. Now, they have understood that the circumstances have changed and will “follow the recommendations of the responsible authorities” to play a responsible role in the current crisis. After the cancellation of GDC 2020 and E3 2020, multiple video game companies are going to host digital showcases to communicate their announcements.
In fact, Microsoft will adopt this approach until 2021. “In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, Microsoft has been closely monitoring the developing global situation and re-assessing the overall company-wide in-person event strategy,” stated an internal email. “As a company, Microsoft has made the decision to transition all external and internal events to a digital first experience through July 2021.” This may mean that Microsoft does not show up at E3 2021, and we may be entering a new phase for PR in the industry.
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