(Pocket-lint) - Gamescom is Europe's answer to E3.
Held annually in Germany, it is a similarly huge event for gamers, with the biggest forthcoming titles on display for press, trade visitors and the public alike.
Sadly, while the pandemic is ongoing, Gamescom 2021 will be virtual-only once more. Here then is what to expect, when it starts, and how to follow everything as it happens.
What is Gamescom and when does it run until?
Gamescom started in 2009 and is traditionally held annually at the Koelnmesse convention centre in Cologne, Germany. It generally runs in mid to late-August.
However, since the global pandemic hit, like most conventions, it has switched to a digital-ony event with an opening night live presentation and online game reveals that spans three days.
It will start with a two-hour Opening Night Live presentation of more than 30 games at 8pm CEST on Wednesday 25 August.
Gamescom will end on Friday 27 August.
Gamescom 2021 press conferences
While several companies traditionally hold press conferences and showcases at former Gamescoms, only one major publisher has announced its own specific event so far: Xbox.
Xbox at Gamescom 2021
Xbox has hosted press conferences at Gamescom in the past and will do so again in 2021, albeit online this time.
It will kick off ahead of Gamescom itself, on Tuesday 24 August, starting at 7pm CEST. Pocket-lint should host the livestream here closer the time. Alternatively, it'll be available across all Xbox social channels, including YouTube and Twitch.
You can see the times for your region below:
- West Coast US: 10am PT
- East Coast US: 1pm ET
- UK: 6pm BST
- Central Europe: 7pm CEST
Join us digitally @gamescom this year. Our @Xbox stream is focused on game updates coming this year. So to set expectations, no new reveals or major surprises, but team has a fun stream planned with our amazing hosts @vicious696 @kateyeager ! More here:https://t.co/FbkM1p7Ok3— Aaron “Day One On Game Pass” Greenberg. (@aarongreenberg) August 9, 2021
Gamescom 2021 Opening Night Live
As mentioned above, Gamescom will also host its own two-hour presentation on the first evening. Called Opening Night Live, it'll show footage, trailers and chat to developers for over 30 games.
You should be able to watch it right here closer the time.
Here are the times for your region:
- West Coast US: 11am PDT
- East Coast US: 2pm EDT
- UK: 7pm BST
- Central Europe: 8pm CEST
Gamescom 2021: Cosplay
One of the things that makes Gamescom a little different to E3 and similar events is that it embraces cosplay more. Indeed, it has an annual cosplay competition, so encourages a host of international visitors to dress as Pikachu or one of their other favourite videogame characters.
While digital-only this year, the show will still have a cosplay competition, just online instead. Entrants are encouraged to send photos to the organiser and a select team of judges will host an online stream to choose the winners.
You can find out more about the digital Cosplay Village here.
Gamescom 2021: The highlights
As with former years, we will bring you all the best games and highlights of Gamescom as they are announced. Check back here often.
Publishers taking part in Gamescom 2021
Here are the currently announced brands taking part in Gamescom this year:
- 505 Games
- Assemble Entertainment
- Astragon Entertainment
- Bandai Namco
- Electronic Arts
- Epic Games
- Gamevil Com2Us Europe
- Koch Media
- Next Studios (Tencent Games)
- Pearl Abyss
- Team 17
- Thunderful Games
Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 4 August 2016.