Berlin, 22 August 2017 – gamescom 2017 has officially been opened: Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel spoke today before around 350 invited guests and more than 150 journalists at the start of the world’s largest event for computer and video games on the Cologne fair grounds. In her speech, she acknowledged the special importance of digital games and the games industry for the business and digital location of Germany. Prior to this, Armin Laschet, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, emphasised the importance of computer and video games for his federal state and the gamescom in Cologne as a flagship for the digital economy of North Rhine-Westphalia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister-President of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, commenced with a tour through the exhibition halls together with Parliamentary Secretary Sean Casey from the gamescom partner country of Canada and the Mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker.
They were accompanied by Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU, the association of the German games industry and sponsor of gamescom, as well as by Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse, the organiser of gamescom. The participants of the tour then exchanged ideas at the Sony stand with Timo Ullmann from the Berlin games developers Yager and Mareike Ottrand. They also spoke with the founder and Art Director of Studio Fizbin about the special challenges facing small and medium-sized games developers in Germany and the necessity for development funding. At the stand of the agricultural simulator, the participants of the tour informed themselves about simulations and how they can playfully make complex technical devices experienceable for anyone. At the fourth station of the tour, the Microsoft stand, teacher Mirek Hancl used the example of Minecraft to show how computer and video games can be sensibly incorporated into the classroom as digital teaching materials.
Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel: “Computer and video games are of the utmost importance as cultural assets, as a driving force for innovation and as an economic factor, which is why I was also very pleased to come to Cologne to provide this developing industry with my recommendation.”
Armin Laschet, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia: “I am pleased to once again see the games industry as a guest here in North Rhine-Westphalia, the home of gamescom. A warm welcome to one of the most important computer game trade fairs in the world! Computer and video games are complex high-tech products and an important business factor for the media location North Rhine-Westphalia. gamescom focuses on this growth and future market and shows how virtual worlds have long since moved into our living rooms. Other business areas can also profit from the technological innovation of the games industry to a special degree.”
“We are very pleased that Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, together with Minister-President Armin Laschet, has opened gamescom, the world’s largest event for computer and video games, for the first time”Felix Falk, Managing Director of the BIU, the association of the games industry and sponsor of gamescom: “We are very pleased that Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, together with Minister-President Armin Laschet, has opened gamescom, the world’s largest event for computer and video games, for the first time. Her visit, but especially her speech expressly underline the great importance of computer and video games for the digital and business location. The important thing now is to improve the basic conditions for the games industry, so that games ‘Made in Germany’ can also become export hits.”
Felix Falk, Managing Director BIU
Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse: “The opening of gamescom by the Chancellor was and remains a great honour for us. With her visit, she acknowledged the development of gamescom into the world’s largest event for computer and video games, and underlined the position of gamescom as one of the most successful and largest events in the German trade fair system. We, as the organisers of gamescom, say ‘Thank you’“.
Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Digital Media, Entertainment and Mobility: Koelnmesse is an international leader in organising trade fairs in the Digital Media, Entertainment und Mobility segments. Trade fairs like photokina, dmexco, gamescom, INTERMOT and THE TIRE COLOGNE are established as leading international trade fairs and are being expanded by future-oriented formats like DIGILITY. Koelnmesse not only organises trade fairs in these areas in Cologne, but also in other growth markets like, for example, China, Singapore and Thailand, which have different areas of focus and content. These global activities offer customers of Koelnmesse tailor-made events in different markets, which guarantee sustainable and international business.
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BIU – the German Games Industry Association
We are the association of the German games industry. Our members are developers and providers of digital games and represent over 85 per cent of the German market. We are the sponsor of gamescom, the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, we answer questions on topics such as market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the leading location for game development.
BIU, the German Games Industry Association
Phone: +49 (0)30 2408779-20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408 77911