The dust has settled after our intense Gamescom experience where Draw & Code showed the latest version of our augmented reality game and toy hybrid, SwapBots. As you can see in the video below, Gamescom is the largest video game trade show in the world with estimates of half a million people enjoying ‘Gamescom week’ as a whole. This takes in GDC (Game Developers Conference) that runs its European leg just before Gamescom begins, meaning that Cologne plays host to a whole seven days of unparalleled video game events.
For the uninitiated, Gamescom is the place where the industry convenes to meet and to make the big deals that will shape the gaming world for the months and years ahead. Meanwhile the hardcore gamers descend on Cologne to play the latest titles and to party. And do they party.
SwapBots were nestled on the UK Stand that was put together by the brilliant team at UKie who represent Britain’s burgeoning games industry on the world stage. With a ‘tea party’ vibe and some of the best independent developers from these shores, it was the most buzzing of the national pavilions. For us it was a thrill to share the stand with the influential Team 17, seeing SwapBots alongside Worms on the UK Stand showreel was a nice moment. Our neighbours included PaperSeven and their gorgeous adventure game Blackwood Crossing that garnered the award for UK Game of the Show.
Away from the trade only zones the very largest organisations in the gaming game were showing off their wares to thousands of eager punters, many resplendent in cosplay tributes. There were a lot of six foot Pikachus! Such is the desire to be the first to play the triple-A titles that huge, snaking queues form each day up to two hours before opening time.
Gamescom has the feel of a festival rather than the usual industry soiree. This atmosphere extends deep into the night and across the city as parties ensue after each day at the sprawling Koln Messe venue when the show-goers leave on the free trains that are just one sign of how welcoming the city is to the gaming community. Every billboard is game related, clothes shops fill their windows with retro gaming t-shirts and even confectioners are creating console-shaped chocolates – Cologne itself gets deep into the spirit of the event, which is the way it should be. Bring on 2017!