Gamescom is almost here, and we at Gamereactor are preparing to fly to Cologne to play a whole host of the latest games and chat with the amazing people who made them. With this huge event approaching, Ben and Alex decided to put our heads together again to discuss whether Gamescom is the new E3 or not.
Gamescom IS the new E3 – Ben
Let’s face it, Gamescom was not far behind E3, even when E3 was in its heyday. The German convention was THE place to go if you love video games and live in Europe, because because E3 is based in Los Angeles, it was never the most accessible place for Europeans to visit. Now that E3 has bitten the dust, nothing has changed for Gamescom, it just lacks its biggest main competitor.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we will ever see an event that sought to consolidate showcases and reveals in the same way as E3. Summer Game Fest will try, but we’ll never again have major conferences all taking place in person at one location, for the simple reason that it’s cheaper and more economical for publishers to just host their own digital showcase. Moreover, the early summer window is better for getting the jump on fall releases, and on both fronts Gamescom will probably never be able to match E3.
But without the LA-based show, Gamescom is now the biggest gaming convention in the world. It was always the better event for consumers, but now that E3 is gone, it’s also the best place for commerce – because Tokyo Game Show comes a little late and is largely geared to just the Asian game market. So, by default, if you ask me, this makes Gamescom the new E3.
If you want to play the biggest upcoming games, talk to developers, participate in leagues and tournaments, buy crazy and unique merchandise and just generally enjoy everything video game related, Gamescom is the undisputed place to be.
Hopefully in future years we will see all the major publishers understand how valuable and important this event is to fans, as there was a noticeable lack of Sony PlayStation, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and so on at this year’s show. Still, with record attendance and more than 1,200 exhibitors, there is no denying that Gamescom has an allure, especially for indie and AA developers and publishers.
To make a long story short, you can make the argument that Gamescom is not the new E3, and Alex will do exactly that, but if not, then what? Do we just go ahead and accept that the gaming calendar is missing that big annual trade show? Do we vest all our hopes and efforts in Geoff Keighley and Summer Game Fest? No. We have a new king of convention, and the name is Gamescom.
Gamescom IS not the new E3 – Alex
E3 is dead. While you may still be trying to drink some copium, desperately wanting it to make a grand return in 2024, this year has proven that even if it returns, it will be a hollow shell of its former self. Many people look forward in their sorrow to the next show, its replacement, and in fairness Gamescom seems to be a tempting new king of showcases. It’s closer to us in the UK, which is nice, it’s packed with key players and allows people to experience upcoming games hands-on. Compared to Keighley’s supposed replacement in SGF, it is miles ahead.
But as you can probably tell from being on the other side this time, I don’t think Gamescom is the new E3. Nothing can be the new E3, because although Gamescom is Europe’s event, it can’t hold the same amount of attention as those three E’s. Some things just can’t be replaced. The world today is fickle and has a short memory. If you are not the greatest, you rarely get a chance to become one. Gamescom, in my opinion, will continue to hold its second place until we begin to see real change.
This year we will indeed see record numbers of exhibitors, but in terms of big reveals, Keighley has already said that ONL will only give us updates on what we know. E3 used to have iconic announcements every year, while companies now much prefer to save their big reveals for their own shows. Of course, there may be exceptions, but now that we live in an era of State of Plays, Directs and so on, it’s hard to imagine one show being the place to hear about everything.
Moreover, let us not forget that there are not just two major expos every year. SGF may not have nearly as much prestige or things going on as Gamescom, but it does take place in the good ol’ US of A, which means it automatically draws a lot more eyes to it. Tokyo Game Show can’t be discounted either, and as we see franchises from Japan such as Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Soulsborne and more appearing in the West, Tokyo could be the place to go sooner rather than later.
Gamescom, if it is to be the new E3, still has a long way to go. We should put more effort into making the show something that a global audience cannot miss, and although there is a lot going on, Tokyo Game Show could still take the crown of Europe’s biggest gaming expo. There is a power vacuum right now, and while Gamescom could be the one to close that gap, there are other equally viable options.