The big Gamescom 2020 game festival and the accompanying Devcom professional game developers conference in Germany are planning for a massive worldwide streaming audience, the founders said in an interview with GamesBeat.
Twitch and YouTube will stream the Gamescom event, which runs from August 27 to August 30 and includes the Geoff Keighley’s Opening Night Live event on August 27. The partnerships are aimed at making sure that Gamescom reaches an audience of millions of people around the world. Last year, the event drew more than 500,000 concurrent viewers. And it’s a sharp contrast to events like the Game Developers Conference and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in the U.S. The GDC had a much smaller summer event this year, and E3 was canceled altogether. But the German event is seeking to be a worldwide celebration of games.
Last year, the huge expo drew 373,000 people in person to the Koelnmesse convention center in Cologne, Germany. But the coronavirus forced the event to go entirely digital. TikTok, the social network that Donald Trump is trying to shutter in the U.S., will be an official Gamescom partner for the first time and deliver content to millions of people worldwide, said Game CEO Felix Falk in an interview with GamesBeat.
“We are making sure that Gamescom is all digital and it’s all over the world,” said Falk. “Our list of partners is still growing.”
Gamescom 2020 is also partnering with media and influencers to produce content across numerous social platforms in languages including English, German, Italian, Russian, Turkish, and others. The media partners include Audiencly (English/German), Progaming Italia (Italian), Igromania (Russian), Gaming in Turkey (Turkish), 2nd Wave/flow:fwd/Webedia (German), and Rocket Beans TV/instinct3/Freaks 4U Gaming (German). GamesBeat is also a media partner.
Steam will provide playable demo versions of the games available at Gamescom. Game publishers participating include Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Xbox, and Ubisoft.
“Last year, we were one of the top three game events worldwide with our opening night,” Falk said.
Devcom’s 96 speakers
Meanwhile, the Devcom developer’s conference will be all-digital this year, with more than 96 speakers spread across 12 days of programming, from August 17 to August 30, said Devcom managing director Stephan Reichart in an interview with GamesBeat.
The business-to-business online event includes global speakers such as David Brevik, founder of Greybeard Games & Skystone Games; Raul Aparicio of Sony Santa Monica; Fawzi Mesmar of EA DICE; Shiew Yeu Lo of Pocket Gems, and many others.
“In the beginning, we planned to have 60 speakers and now we ended up at 96,” Reichart said.
Devcom has already garnered about 63,000 viewers for its weekly Game Dev Show on Twitch and the Patreon Podcast series. The conference will also have a number of diverse speakers, Reichart said.
Sybil Collas and Pierrick Haem will share their experience of being queer and non-binary creators in the games industry in their fireside chat “Non Binary Tea – Fake Inclusivity and Blooming Community.” Collas has worked with companies like Ubisoft Bluebyte, Dontnod Entertainment, and Monolith; Haem, who is now with Big Bad Wolf, has been a journalist and was involved in the development of JumpHead: Battle4Fun as a game designer. Devcom will also host a talk by Redhill Games CEO Matias Myllyrinne, whose company is currently working on the tactical first-person shooter Nine To Five.
Misha Velichansky from Schell Games will center their talk around their queer visual novel “Mission: It’s complicated”, and how to create a joyful and cozy game while tackling some serious topics. And the event will host talks by Xsolla, Mimimi Games, 11bit Studios, Lego Ventures, Digital Cybercherries, Red Kite, SAE, and Sumo Digital.
Gamescom is not charging for livestream viewing. Devcom is the same, but it has inexpensive passes for people who want to do networking or special events. Reichart said the session times are being spread out to accommodate viewers from around the world, and he said next-day viewing will be available for all the talks, which will be prerecorded. Devcom itself has more than 76% of its registrations from abroad.
As for next year, Falk said the teams are expecting to plan a hybrid physical and digital event for Gamescom, with flexibility to go online-only if necessary.