Takeaways From Gamescom 2019: Tournaments and Top Indies
It was a lifelong dream come true to attend Gamescom in Cologne on August 20. An enormous crowd was present – over 370k! – of gamers, developers, members of the press, and rising stars of the games industry, as well as families with children. And with live music, gaming areas, and performers walking through the convention in mechanical robot suits, it had more the feel of a festival than a conference. The atmosphere was a blend of professional and fun, with different panel sessions to attend as well as different gaming areas and other attractions.
Plus, we got to see a giant, purple Lego mech from Overwatch!
Read on for other highlights of the weekend…
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High-Profile Companies in Attendance at Gamescom
With games – mobile, PC, console, and more – being one of the top-growing industries, there were lots of companies at Gamescom. Red Bull was undoubtedly a VIP of the event. The drink was everywhere, and the Red Bull Gaming Ground was a hot spot of the event. There, attendees could test games, compete in community tournaments, and network with influencers, eSports professionals, and programmers.
The Creator Club offered space where games influencers could ply their trade. Streamers and gamers gave talks on how to monetize gaming. The Red Bull Player One area then provided a platform for amateur gamers to compete in a tournament. Add to all of this a wide array of DJ and live music acts, and you have a real carnival atmosphere.
Other big names visible at Gamescom over the event were Facebook and Google, who were offering test runs of Google Stadia, their cloud-based gaming platform. Other major gaming platforms present included Riot Games and Wargaming.net, all of whom participated in widely attended events in the Gamescom Event Arena.
One of these was the Asphalt eSports series. Here, champions from different global regions competed in Asphalt 9: Legends, the world’s most downloaded mobile racing franchise. Others included the ESL Summer Championship, the League of Legends tournament for the German-speaking gaming scene, and the finale of the Clash Royale tournament.
Indie Village and Gaming Competitions
To accommodate so many attendees with such a diverse range of interests, the Gamescom floor plan included various different areas. These included variations for different aesthetics of games, as well as different genres of gamer culture, plus a business/trade area for meetings and networking. There was a Retro Area for attendees interested in old-school games, an Indie Village for indie developers to connect and showcase their games to the larger community, and a Cosplay Village.
There was also a Family Area for those traveling with children, a merchandise area, and a Red Bull Gaming Ground where attendees could play games in competition with each other.
Among the stands in the Indie Village, there were too many creative and engaging new games to count. A few titles that stand out, ranging from the G-rated to the more bloodthirsty fantasy battle-brawling games, included:
- Tunic: a colorful, whimsical adventure game… reminiscent of Legend of Zelda, but starring a fox
- Scourge Bringer: colorfully illustrated, compared to a mashup of Celeste and Dead Cells
- Necro Barista: a gamified novel with anime-styled animation, set in a supernatural cafe in Melbourne frequented by the undead
- El Hijo: set in a Latin American monastery, in which you play a young novice solving puzzles and searching for his mother
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend. We made some valuable connections and learned a lot about the different personalities and innovations in the games industry. We had a great time networking with mobile games exhibitors and other movers and shakers at Gamescom. Also, we learned a lot about a robust, dynamic industry that we’re interested in becoming more involved with.