gamescom 2021: Digital success lays foundation for coming years
13 million live viewers across entire streaming offering, up 30 percent over 2020 +++ gamescom: Opening Night Live with rise in live viewers of over 30 percent to 5.8 million with again around 2 million simultaneous viewers +++ Number of co-streams for gamescom: Opening Night Live increases by around 25 percent to 1,500 +++ Reach of gamescom: Awesome Indies more than doubled +++ gamescom 2021 followed in more than 180 countries +++ gamescom EPIX and Indie Arena Booth Online encourage community participation +++ gamescom Steam festival draws over 1 million visitors, an increase of 40 percent over 2020On August 25, 2021, gamescom went 100 percent digital for the second time in a row. The world's largest event for computer and video games built on the successes of 2020 and was able to convince the community and partners in terms of both quality and quantity. The comprehensive further development of the program, the shows, and the gamescom now content hub bore noticeable fruit: in 2021, more than 13 million live viewers watched the entire gamescom 2021 streaming program, 30 percent more than in the previous year. As was the case last year, the total number of views will again increase to a multiple of this figure in the coming days, as many fans continue to watch the content after the live broadcast. In 2021, the community was very active due to new formats: together, fans solved all 30 quests as part of gamescom EPIX, so that the numerous prizes in the gamescom VAULT could be distributed to tens of thousands of fans. In the interactive game of the Indie Arena Booth Online (IAB Online), 15,000 players took part, 500 of whom spent an extra-long amount of time in the "Summer Camp of Doom" and reached max level 50. In addition, the community donated a total of almost 7,000 euros to the gamescom forest, allowing the forest to continue to grow as a climate project. The games presented as part of gamescom 2021 met with particularly great interest from the community: This year, over one million fans visited the gamescom festival on Steam organized for the event. This represents an increase of 43 percent compared to the previous year. There, for example, fans were able to try out numerous games as demos.
Felix Falk, Managing Director of games - Association of the German Games Industry: "gamescom 2021 has relied entirely on the power of the community. Whether co-streaming gamescom: Opening Night Live, joint quests at gamescom EPIX or even our fundraising campaign for the gamescom forest: the many shows, campaigns and the central content hub gamescom now were used millions of times by the community worldwide. In addition, we created a particularly large number of interaction opportunities this year in order to create the incomparable atmosphere of gamescom digitally as well. I am very pleased that gamescom 2021 with its many further developments was so well received. This makes it a great success for us and all the partners involved."
Oliver Frese, Managing Director and COO of Koelnmesse: "I am really thrilled how well our digital offering has been received by the community worldwide again this year. A lot of heart and soul has gone into the further development of our shows, our content hub gamescom now and our cooperations from the entire team and the many partners - and it has paid off. The numbers speak for themselves and we have definitely defended our pole position as a global digital event. This puts us in the best possible position to bring the community and the industry together even more successfully next year with a hybrid gamescom 2022, both on-site in Cologne and online."
Even more reach for AAA and indie games
The gamescom shows, which were very well received by the community in 2020, were optimized again for gamescom 2021. This year, more than 13 million live viewers watched the entire gamescom 2021 streaming program, 30 percent more than in the previous year. 5.8 million people tuned in to this year’s opening show gamescom: Opening Night Live (ONL), an increase of more than 30 percent compared to the previous year. At its peak, around 2 million viewers were again watching the show at the same time. This makes it once again one of the most successful gaming shows of the year worldwide. The show also impressed in terms of quality: High-quality trailers for AAA blockbusters alternated with longer gameplay sessions and in-depth interviews with studio guests. Thus, there was news about more than 30 hotly anticipated titles. This also convinced co-streamers all over the world, who rebroadcast the show on their channels and in some cases also commented on it: in 2021, gamescom: Opening Night Live was simultaneously rebroadcast in over 1,500 co-streams in a wide variety of languages. This represents an increase of 25 percent compared to the previous year.
Launched in 2020, the gamescom: Awesome Indies format grew enormously in reach, hitting 500.000 live viewers this year, therefore more than doubling its audience. A clear sign that the mix of exciting indie reveals has gone down very well with the community. Together with the Indie Arena Booth Online and the strong growth at the Steam Festival, gamescom was thus able to further expand its position as a top international event for independent developers.
Digital format once again very international
Like in 2020, digital gamescom 2021 once again drew fans from over 180 countries on the gamescom now content hub. This year’s partners also had a strong international background – the foreign share came to 75 percent, representing an increase of 5 percentage points compared to 2020. At devcom, trade visitors from 87 countries attended the numerous workshops, panels, events and matchmaking sessions – in 2020, the number of countries was only 68.
New community feeling and gamification
The clear goal of the gamescom EPIX community campaign, which was launched in 2021, was to involve and activate the community even more before and during the event as well as heightening the anticipation for it. Together, fans solved all 30 quests as part of gamescom EPIX, so that the numerous prizes in the gamescom VAULT could be distributed to tens of thousands of fans. This strong participation by fans and partners shows the campaign’s big success in its first year.
In the virtual, interactive multiplayer game of IAB Online, fans could explore the lovingly designed world with their own avatar and get to know the numerous featured games from a total of 255 indie developers. A total of 15,000 players took part, 500 of whom spent an extra-long amount of time in the "Summer Camp of Doom" and reached max level 50.
Strong online program for trade audience
As Europe's leading conference on the potential of computer games in a digitalized world, the gamescom congress was once again held purely digitally. Across 35 program points, 56 experts, exactly as many women as men, discussed the potential of computer games for society and business. The impressive number of spectators shows how great the interest was: A total of around 118,000 people followed the extensive program over the two days of the congress, more than ever before. This enormous number of viewers could be achieved not least because of the support of Twitch as a partner of gamescom. Many of the presentations and discussions can still be watched on gamescom now.
The devcom Developer Conference 2021 was also another great digital success and once again brought together over 2,000 trade visitors from as many as 87 countries for the first time. In total, more than 250 speakers offered exciting talks, panels and fireside chats, which is around 50 percent more content than last year. The conference's diverse program also offered over 55 hours of live streaming on Twitch and was watched by around 200,000 people.
gamescom 2022 will take place in Cologne and online from August 24 to 28.
Franz Peter Mann Kommunikationsmanager
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