It can’t be easy following hot on the heels of E3: one of the biggest consumer game shows on the planet. There’s a genuine media frenzy that accompanies E3 every year – now exacerbated by the swathes of server-breaking numbers watching live event streams. Factor in that most publishers have already announced their big guns on sizzle reels presentations and you’d think GamesCom was running on fumes since its first gig in 2009. But in just six years, German-based GamesComhas gone from strength to strength to become Europe’s best answer to E3 – certainly its equal in terms of cold hard numbers if not cultural cache yet.
According to MCV, this year 345,000 people attended GamesCom, 10,000 up on last year’s figures. 33,200 were trade visitors and the Cologne show bumps its number up by opening its doors to the public as well – something E3 only did in a limited capacity for the first time this year. So, on the technicality of an equation (exhibition space and number of visitors), that makes GamesCom the biggest consumer games show in the world.
It helps that other European trade shows are strictly business, focussing on design or developers with no consumer facing expos in the events calender. Like the US, we’ve also got European casual, social and mobile events every year. But GamesCom is the only core gaming event with enough momentum to keep many in the games industry – including us – coming back year on year.