Gamescom 2021 will no longer be held as a hybrid event as originally intended. Instead of mixing in-person and online experiences, Gamescom 2021 will be a digital-only event scheduled to take place in August. Its digital format may be disappointing to those who were planning on attending the event in Germany, but the digital structure of the event means that it'll at least be free for all those who want to keep up with the news and announcements online.
Back when plans for Gamescom 2021 were first detailed earlier in the year, event organizers Koelnmesse and game – the German Games Industry Association said the event would include an "entertainment area" for people to try out games on-site in addition to online elements for those who wouldn't be attending in-person. Measures such as limited visitor presence and digital queue management to control the number of people at sites would've been implemented, but all that is moot now that the event has been converted back to a digital occasion.
NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER! 🚨 #gamescom2021 goes digital! Ready for an adventure? ➡️ gamescom epix will lead you on a special quest 🎉💯 Back again: gamescom: Opening Night Live with @geoffkeighley and our awesome shows. Statement: https://t.co/kV25mQWAJT pic.twitter.com/qBM5qiE8AP— gamescom (@gamescom) May 5, 2021
"Koelnmesse and game – The German Games Industry Association have decided to hold gamescom 2021 as an all-digital event," the organizers announced. "This decision was made after extensive discussions with partners and exhibitors. Thus, the organizers take into account the current situation, in which too many companies are unable to participate in physical events this year due to the still difficult development. In this way, they also meet the partners' strong need for planning security."
Though the format of the event has been adjusted, the dates remain the same. The Opening Night Live ceremony will kick off the event on August 25th with Gamescom 2021 running from then until August 27th. World premieres, news about games people already know about, and other announcements are all planned for the event.
Gamescom 2021 isn't the only gaming event that's still operating under a digital format this year. E3 2021, the other major gaming event of the year next to Gamescom, will similarly adhere to a digital format this year. That event will have its own announcements to make and will take place starting on June 12th with plans to run until June 15th.