RPS Asks: Are You Going To Gamescom?

I used to read games sites each June and dream of going to E3, excited by the prospect of seeing and playing games before they were out. Now I’m old and excited by the prospect of going to bed. Times have changed in other ways, too: there’s now a big, European games show which is open to the public and at which you can see and play games before they’re out.

Gamescom happens each year in Cologne and takes place next week, August 18th-21st. We’ll be sending a crack team (Adam), but I was curious: are any of you planning on going as a member of the public?

I’ve been to E3 and Gamescom a number of times, and Gamescom is better. It’s bigger – 300,000 people sweat their way across its showfloor each year – and often hotter in Germany in August than it is in LA in June. But it’s also got a more interesting spread of games, attracting more smaller publishers from across Europe and Asia alongside the larger publishers.

Also Cologne is lovely, easy to travel around using public transport, and has umpteen delightful bars alongside the river. LA, meanwhile, is an armpit.

But I say all this as i) someone who doesn’t have to buy a ticket and ii) someone who gets to skip some of the queues.

So are you going to Gamescom this year? Have you been to Gamescom before? And what prompts you to make the journey?


  1. Fenaer says:

    I went to Gamescom two years ago, and had a throughly amazing time. I met a load of cool people, saw a load of fun games and even queued up for hours to see Witcher 3 footage a few days before anyone else.

    High point was getting drunk at the Dawngate meetup’s open bar.

    Downside was getting on the wrong metro and ending up on the opposite side of the city to my hostel.

  2. TinyOwl says:

    I’ll be going. Its my seventh time in a row now (time flies…). My first year was with the local gameshop where I worked back then, which meant I could go on the ‘industry day’. We could try the Vita before it was out and a bunch of games, that was pretty cool.
    The year after I went with my brother on a regular public day, which was horrible in comparison! The lines are incredibly long for popular games, up to 4 hours o.0. I remember we played Simcity and a Command & Conquer game that never came out and that was it.
    After that year I received a Gamescom newsletter with a special offer for the industry day. I use that offer every year now and we’ll be there this wednesday as well. We always try to play/visit as many new IP that seem fun as we can. Sometimes, just sometimes, reading newletters pays off :)

  3. iceman-sven says:

    I am from Germany, but not near Köln(Cologne). I was at Gamescom. You should avoid it. Cramped, long waiting times. It is waste of money and time. The fair does not rally care about the attendees.
    If Sony would public display and demo time the new PS4 ‘Neo’, it might interesting enough. Or if Oculus shows off the current DK Rift. Or ASUS, Dell & Co. give a sneak peek at the coming HDR Game Displays. Just innovation.

  4. Zaarin says:

    This year is the fourth time in a row I’ll be going to Gamescom. I usually try going on Thursday and Friday since those days are not as crazy as Saturday and Sunday, but cramped nonetheless. If you can’t stand being inside big crowds or hate loud environments, Gamescom might not be for you. But there are plenty of locations that are less cramped and easier to endure (I really recommend the Indie Games Area).
    For me those points have never been an issue, since I mostly go there to meet some international friends and attend the yearly Star Citizen shenanigans. ;)

  5. UncleBAZINGA says:

    I’m from Germany and last year I attended it for the first time, but we lucky ones had press passes and therefore could visit it l Gamescom one day earlier than the public. It was a great experience, but as soon as the gates opened for the public masses it transformed quickly in a horrible sweat bath. With waiting lines of up to three hours you barely could play new games or sometimes you only got to watch a trailer which already was on the internet. No thanks!

  6. snv says:

    Last time i went to gamescon it sucked. The very first ones were alright but after they moved to Cologne it deteriorated too much.

    They just handled age wrong. Almost every stall was walled in and you had to stand in long lines to see whats going on. Thats not an atmosphere i expect or want from a fair/expo.

    They could&should simply sort the age-levels at the hall boundaries with under-age and adult halls instead of checking at every stall.

    Also: too much of the area is wasted on mobile gaming or not even gaming at all.

  7. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Nah, not much for large crowds. I’m just a long train ride away from Gamescom now, so the thought did occur to me, but I’ll pass. To be fair to Gamescom, I also passed on PAX East and some roving conference when I lived 30 minutes outside of Boston, primarily to avoid all that stereotypical sweaty craziness. I did go to a ~1000-strong Oculus-sponsored VR conference there several years ago, and that was really cool, so I understand first-hand some of the other attractions to these things, but…nah.

    Thanks for sending in Team Adam for us!

  8. Uhuru N'Uru says:

    I have no interest in unreleased games, I want to know about games I can buy, and if later patches/DLC have fixed the launch day issues that stopped me buying the game then.

    I’m especially interested in the condition of the final edition, when all the content is in one package. This is the most likely one I will buy, and how many mods are available.

    The only honest thing at these things is those last three letters, they are a con, with one purpose selling the hype, not the actual game.