Picture: Mathis Wienand / Getty Images for BIU
• Dorothee Bär, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Garrelt Duin, the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister for Economic Affairs, and the Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, open gamescom 2016
• ‘Heroes in New Dimensions’ is the theme of gamescom 2016
Berlin, 17 August 2016 – gamescom 2016 is officially opened: today, Dorothee Bär MdB, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, and Garrelt Duin, Minister for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, together with the Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, opened the world’s largest event for computer and video games in Cologne, Germany.
Numerous guests from the worlds of politics and society checked out the current trends in the computer and video game industry during the subsequent opening tour. For instance, at the booth of the Frankfurt game developer Crytek, the participants had the chance to immerse themselves in virtual reality and get a personal impression of this new digital platform which, after developing from within the games industry, also opens up new possibilities in many other sectors of the economy. At the Ubisoft stand, the company showed how innovatively the games industry connects a wide range of devices, from smartphones to consoles. The social and economic relevance that e-sports have long achieved was evident while visiting the stand of the company Gameforge from Karlsruhe: here, the tour participants were able to compete against each other and test their skills in a typical e-sports arena. On the social media stage, the political guests were then interviewed for gamescom TV by the Let’s Player and TV presenter Fabian Siegismund. At the end of the official opening tour, the guests from the worlds of politics and society exchanged views with representatives of the games industry about the current challenges for game development in Germany. In the foreground was the growing pressure on German game developers in the face of the increasing funding enjoyed by their European neighbours, such as France, the UK, Italy and, more recently, Poland. There was also a discussion about which features in game development must be considered in the upcoming reform of copyright contract law to prevent investment in Germany from being stifled.
This year’s gamescom, the world’s largest event for computer and video games, runs until Sunday in Cologne. Non-trade visitors have access to the exhibition centre from Thursday onwards. The theme of this year’s gamescom is ‘Heroes in New Dimensions’. The theme refers, on the one hand, to gamescom’s development into a 360-degree event for digital entertainment and, on the other, to this year’s trends in virtual reality, e-sports and ‘the player as the designer’.
You will find more photos of the gamescom opening tour here: http://www.gettyimages.de/fotos/661974779?sort=mostpopular&excludenudity=true&mediatype=photography&phrase=661974779
Statements by the tour participants
Dorothee Bär MdB, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: ‘The German computer game industry is the driving force for technological developments “made in Germany” and an important innovation driver to help Germany develop into a leading digital location. What inspires gamers today, will lead to innovations beyond the game sector tomorrow; for instance, in the field of education, in medical technology, digital planning and building or in the automotive industry. Investments in the computer and video game industry are therefore important investments in our future economic performance.’
Garrelt Duin, Minister for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia: ‘The computer and video game industry is one of the most innovative cultural and creative industries and still has great growth potential. North Rhine-Westphalia has become a centre of the games industry in Germany in recent years. We want to continue this trend in the future, so that North Rhine-Westphalia benefits even more from the innovative strength of the industry.’
Henriette Reker, Mayor of the city of Cologne and Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Koelnmesse, organiser of gamescom: ‘gamescom has grown impressively in Cologne. It’s opening up new dimensions. With this 360-degree digital entertainment event, the trade fair highlights the role of Cologne as one of the most important media locations in Germany. For the duration of the event, hundreds of thousands of fans are making Cologne the centre of the computer and video game scene and celebrating their games.’
Dr Maximilian Schenk, Managing Director of the BIU, the German Games Industry Association, sponsor of gamescom: ‘The current trends at gamescom underline the particular importance accorded to the computer and video game industry in an increasingly networked society and economy. Innovations such as virtual reality, the strong development of e-sports as well as the special involvement of players in the development of the medium set a great example for many other industries of how digitisation can be shaped successfully.’
About gamescom 2016
gamescom opens for all interested trade visitors on 17 August and for the general public on 18 August. In 2015, 806 companies from 45 countries presented their latest products. A total of 345,000 visitors from 96 countries used gamescom last year as an entertainment and business platform. This makes gamescom the largest global computer and video games event as well as Europe’s largest business platform for the games industry. With the business area, the entertainment area, the GDC Europe, the gamescom congress and the gamescom city festival, gamescom offers tailored platforms for all audiences.
About the BIU
The BIU, the German Games Industry Association, is the association of the German computer and video games industry. Its 26 members are developers, publishers and suppliers of digital games. Together, they represent over 85 per cent of the German market. The BIU is, for example, the organiser of gamescom. As an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, the BIU answers all questions on the topic of digital games.
BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware e. V.
Tel.: +49 (0)30 2408 779-20
Fax: +49 (0)30 2408 779-11