Gamescom 2021 Goes All Digital, Opening Night Live Returns

May 6, 2021

Gamescom has confirmed that it will, once again, be an all-digital affair in 2021 with Opening Night Live set to kick off proceedings on August 25th. The announcement was made on Wednesday by game — The German Games Industry Association — and Koelnmesse.

Curated by Geoff Keighley, Opening Night Live has, in recent years, become the traditional curtain raiser for Gamescom. The broadcast reached 2 million simultaneous viewers last year and Keighley is setting the bar high for this year’s edition too. “The interest of developers is huge to be able to present their world premieres in the ONL,” commented Keighley. Therefore, it’s safe to assume there will be some big announcements.

Coverage of Gamescom will continue on August 26th and 27th. All of this will be available for free to consumers and is being broadcast to English language viewers by IGN.

‘Gamescom week’ will actually begin on August 23rd with Devcom — “extensive online program and provides the games industry with a central business platform”. Essentially, a place for developers around the world to network without being at a physical conference. An adaptation that many industries around the world are also making.

This year marks the second year that Gamescom will be strictly digital. “The decision was made after extensive discussions with partners and exhibitors,” the press release reads. Naturally, the decision has been made because of the ongoing global pandemic, a situation which has affected the development community and the world in many different ways.

Described as “the biggest gaming event in the world,” Gamescom last welcomed 370,000 people to its last physical show in 2019 whilst Gamescom 2020 (also an all-digital show) had over 100 million video views throughout the event.

We’ll be covering all things Gamescom from August 25th. Watch this space.

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Ant Barlow

Started with the PlayStation, now I'm here... with a PlayStation. Once skipped school to play the Metal Gear Solid demo repeatedly. I love stories big and small. Trophy hunter. Recent VR convert. Probably a hipster.