It was only a few weeks ago that the organizers of Gamescom 2022 went public with a positive interim conclusion. The majority of the space for the event has already been rented.
More than 250 exhibitors have confirmed their participation or have already made firm bookings. In the meantime, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that games fans will have to do without the highlights that were actually planned. There will be no presentations of new top games in Cologne. Three big players have cancelled their participation in Gamescom 2022. We have the information.
Sony & Co will be missing at Gamescom 2022
No, officially in the advertising the world premieres were not yet. However, spectacular highlights were expected in the scene and also among experts. The following three releases were planned internally:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from Activision Blizzard
- Splatoon 3 from Nintendo
- PlayStation VR2 as well as God of War Ragnarok from Sony Interactive
With Activision Blizzard, Nintendo and Sony Interactive, three companies that have literally shaped Gamescom in recent years are not present in Cologne.
It could even get worse
Based on our experience, things could be even worse for Gamescom 2022. With Astragon Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Konami, Ubisoft, Warner Bros, Capcom, Square Enix and Microsoft Xbox, there are still some, big publishers in the pipeline, but there is a but. None of the above-mentioned companies has yet made a definite commitment to participate.
New audience record virtually out of the question
The originally targeted audience record can probably be ruled out. So far, about 60,000 tickets have been sold for the game event. In 2019, the game fair had 373,000 visitors. The absence of some industry giants is likely to deter numerous fans from making the trip to Cologne. In the past, it was mainly the premieres that attracted visitors from near and far.
The presumed reasons for the cancellation
Officially, we can only speculate about the reasons for the cancellation. Activision Blizzard, Nintendo and Sony Interactive are keeping a low profile. Only Nintendo has made a very general press statement. From the Nintendo of Europe headquarters in Frankfurt it is said:
“Gamescom is a key event in the event calendar for Nintendo. This year, however, after careful consideration, we have decided against participating in Cologne.”
One reason, of course, may be that the companies expect Corona numbers to rise again in the fall. It cannot be ruled out, however, that there will be restrictions once again or that the mass event would even be canceled completely. The risk could simply be too high for the companies.
Costs have exploded in all areas
Of course, the costs are also relevant. Gamescom is not a cheap trade fair event. Even for medium-sized exhibitor stands, companies have to reckon with a six- or seven-figure outlay. Due to the supply bottlenecks that exist everywhere and the shortage of materials, also in the trade fair construction sector, a further increase in costs is to be expected. There is also a lack of personnel in the industry. Anyone who wants to run a Gamescom booth professionally needs technicians, caterers and security staff, in addition to their own employees.
It is clear that some game manufacturers have also used the pandemic period to strengthen their own online sales. Marketing in the trade fair sector has become less important. The focus is set differently these days.