The organisers of European gaming event Gamescom have announced that this year's show will go back on its original plans to be a hybrid physical and digital event, and take place entirely online once more this year.
In a press release, Chief Operating Officer Oliver Frese explained the decision to change track, saying "Together with game – The German Games Industry Association, we have put all our energy into making gamescom 2021 in a hybrid format possible for fans and industry alike. However, even though the hybrid concept was very well received by the partners, we had to recognize that gamescom still comes too early for many companies in the industry due to the required planning reliability."
The organisers hope that with the extra notice, it will allow them, along with their partners and game publishers to put on an even stronger event and is inviting potential partners to sign up for the show, which will take place between August 25 and August 28. Gamescom's organisers hope to return to their originally planned hybrid physical and digital event format in 2022.
The new digital only Gamescom will still open with the planned Opening Night Live broadcast on August 25 hosted by Geoff Keighley, but the public will also be able to virtually "attend" the online show over the subsequent days via a newly-relaunched Gamescom Now hub and Gamescom Epix campaign to take place over social media. The show will also be available live and on demand, with more details on where to watch closer to the event.
Gamescom 2021 will be a couple of months following June's E3 2021, which is also set to take place exclusively online this year after being entirely cancelled in 2020 due to the global pandemic.