Gamescom which is held every year in Cologne, Germany, is considered one of the three major game shows around the world. Not only new games are introduced, but it became a large event that the whole city enjoys together. Cologne was a city that hosted from 2014 to 2016, and esports companies like ESL or esports team SK Gaming are located there.
In the German booth in BTB at G-Star, there was an area where people who are interested in Gamescom. We were able to hear about their event, and how Germany thinks of the game industry. Inven was able to go into more detail by interviewing Koelnmesse’s Gamescom director, Tim Endres.
Hi, please introduce yourself.
My name is Tim Endres. I’m the director of Gamescom at Koelnmesse.
Is this your first time at G-Star? Or have you been here before?
I’ve been here about 3 to 4 times. One of the most important parts of my visit is seeing how the game shows improve and learning the news of the Korean game market. G-Star is the best place for us to communicate with our clients and partners located in Korea. Every year, the people of the game industry visit G-Star; I always welcome them to talk.
Gamescom is called one of the three major game shows around the world. What do you think made it so big?
At Gamescom, we showed all kinds of games regardless of their platform. From console, mobile, online PC, VR, esports, everything. Plus, it’s something that is hard to see anywhere else, but Gamescom seeks more than just an exhibition. Not only new games but diverse events and the good environment of the scene, along with programs where the whole city participates together made it into an event where people can really experience.
Over the past 11 years, we have had many events aside from the five days of the main Gamescom event. Opening night live, Devcom, SPOBIS Game & Media, Gamescom conference, Gamescom city festival, and so on.
Like this, we concentrated on what the visitors wanted from many directions and as a result, we were able to make today’s Gamescom for worldwide game fans.
Especially, the Devcom that is held with Gamescom is considered as important as GDC to the developing companies. What’s your secret behind the growth?
We thought that we needed something solid during the Gamescom week for the developers. During the past two years, we consider that we’ve succeeded to create our own unique format through Devcom. It feels that now Devcom has become an international developer conference that attracts worldwide developers with interesting speeches and systematic programs.
To make it happen, Gamescom restructured the Devcom organization, and through that, they made it easier to cooperate with Koelnmesse. The main advisory committee and strategic advisory committee caught important issues quickly and acted on it. Within a few months, the process was fit. You’ll probably able to feel more growth in next year’s Devcom as well.
Can you a bit more about Koelnmesse?
Koelnmesse is a place where many different industries’ exhibitions are held. It’s one of the biggest galleries in the world. Visitors and exhibitors around the world come to Cologne to display and see the newest products and trends. There are around 80 exhibitions and events by worldwide companies.
Other than Gamescom, there are events like food fairs or ORGATEC etc.
What’s the position of Cologne in the German game industry? Other than the fact that Gamescom is held, what other organizations or companies are in Cologne?
The potential games have is enormous. It’s a very modern and innovative industry. As the host of Gamescom, it’s a very big plus to Koelnmesse. Koelnmesse also sees it as one of the core events.
Other than what I mentioned before, there are many trade fairs such as Photokina, DMEXCO, Gamescom, INTMOT, TIRE COLOGNE, etc. Among these, Gamescom is one of the leading trade fairs around the world. They’ve already set a global standard since 2009, and it became one of the pillars in this area.
Also, Gamescom made Cologne into one of the most famous places for games in German. It became a motivation for many startups and developers to head to the Rhine area. The best example would be the Cologne game house. The concept is that all young startups and original companies work under the same roof. Koelnmesse established a digital campus there called incube8, and is collecting young innovative companies that can participate in the fairs.
There would be EA, SK Gaming, ESL, etc that as famous game organizations in Cologne.
Germany has strict regulations for different ages and aims to have healthy media consumption for the adolescence. It seems that the regulations towards games are also quite strict. How is that?
USK, which is the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation in Germany, is an organization that’s responsible for game rating. There, they test the games and determine the ratings according to the German Children and Young Persons Protection Act. USK has the authority to have technical and content tests on diverse game platforms and is responsible to rate the content based on the test results. There are many jobs for USK from forming the organization to educating the specialists that would process the tests and ratings.
What genre is popular in Germany? How much do people play console, PC, and mobile?
According to the sales, mobile games are the highest, and consoles and PC follow.