The biggest consumer game show of all is coming up August 5 in Germany, as gamescom 2015 opens its doors to greet somewhere over 335,000 visitors at the Koelnmesse expo center in Cologne, Germany. The show has expanded its floor space by 18 percent to 193,000 square meters, which means we’re quite likely to see more visitors than last year to the show. The marketing value of the conference is not to be underestimated.
Unlike the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) show in Los Angeles, the focus at gamescom is on the consumer. Yes, the trade and the press will be at the show as well (with over 5,000 journalists expected to attend), but this show allows direct experience with eager fans. It’s a prime promotional opportunity that the game industry’s largest companies are taking full advantage of, with over 800 exhibitors from more than 45 countries will present their new products in Cologne.
Game publishers are taking full advantage of the marketing opportunity with special tournaments, plenty of livestreams, elaborate booths, and all of the social media love they can encourage amoung the hundreds of thousands of game fans in attendance as well as the millions who are expected to tune in to the show remotely. There’s plenty of news expected to drop about upcoming releases, and we should see a wave of new game trailers to get excitement for new titles ramped up even higher.
The theme of this year’s gamescom will be the “Next Level of Entertainment,” and that means more than just the upcoming games, there will be plenty of virtual reality on display as well. BIU managing director Dr Maximilian Schenk explained this year’s theme as follows: “gamescom is reaching a new level in 2015. It’s not just bigger â€“ it’s also more diverse, and takes an all-embracing look at the future of digital games. This year we have brought a very appealing partner country on board with the United Kingdom, [which] highlights the reputation of gamescom as the most important business platform in Europe.”
While all the major game companies have booths at the show, many are holding press conferences as well in order to present important information on new titles. Here’s some of what to expect from gamescom beginning on August 5:
Blizzard has a big gamescom 2015 press briefing planned, with media invites already sent out. What’s in store isn’t confirmed, but we already know Blizzard is gearing up for Legacy of the Void, its expansion for Starcraft 2, later this year. Meanwhile, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone are probably going to get some promotional love. Eager fans are also hoping for more info on Overwatch, and of course more information about World of Warcraft is always welcome. As the Warcraft movie draws closer, we may even see something from that.
Microsoft is promising the “greatest games lineup in Xbox history” for gamescom, with a special page set up to give a glimpse at what they will be showing. Featured games will include Quantum Break, Crackdown, and Scalebound. Of course, Halo 5: Guardians will be get prime placement as Microsoft’s biggest release this year. We’ll learn more about Halo 5, and perhaps see some new products associated with Halo 5 from Astro Gaming. Microsoft will be showing their gamescom briefing live on your Xbox or at xbox.com, and there will be live video updates throughout the show featuring “gamescom breaking news, exclusive announcements, trailer reveals, game demos, and interviews with game creators.”
Sony won’t be making a big splash with a press conference at gamescom, saving their efforts for Paris Games Week in October. Of course, Sony will still have a booth with plenty of games being showcased, and no doubt we’ll see more about Horizon Zero Dawn, No Man’s Sky, The Last Guardian, and the special content coming up on the PS4 for Destiny and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
Nintendo’s booth will be showing many of their top titles that are already out, including Splatoon, with some key upcoming titles like Super Mario Maker and Star Fox Zero getting some special attention. There will be some special events for Nintendo fans, including Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon tournaments. Check out the full lineup here.
Ubisoft won’t be holding a big press conference, but their gamescom booth will feature a new Assassinâ€™s Creed Syndicate demo, hands-on multiplayer battles for For Honor, Rainbow Six Siege, and The Division, along with a Rabbids Virtual Reality Ride and on-stage presentations for Just Dance 2016 and The Crew Wild Run.
Electronic Arts will be holding a press conference, but they aren’t providing any details of what might be announced. You can expect to see the company’s fall titles showcased, though, with Madden NFL 16, FIFA 16, and NHL 16 in the spotlight, along with Star Wars Battlefront and Need for Speed.
Square Enix has already announced some of their Final Fantasy events you can catch online. Square Enix will be hosting livestreams of Final Fantasy 15 on their Twitch channel.
A rather exhaustive list of games being displayed at gamescom can be found here.