Gamescom Asia still going on ahead despite coronavirus concerns, says organisers

Gamescom is a highlight in the gaming world.
Gamescom is a highlight in the gaming world.PHOTO: GAMESCOM ASIA/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A major gaming festival due to take place here in October will proceed despite the cancellation of its main event in Germany and expectations that the coronavirus outbreak will last for more months.

The organiser Koelnmesse said on Friday (April 17) that staging the inaugural Gamescom Asia, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of fans, is still on track.

Managing director Mathias Kuepper told The Straits Times: "In all aspects, planning for the event is still going ahead but we are assessing the situation in Singapore and the surrounding region very closely.

"Whether or not we are confident that the global numbers for Covid-19 will tail off by then, we leave that to the projections of the health authorities and will do our part to follow the Singapore Government's advisories on large-scale events."

Singapore's circuit breaker measures have banned all major gatherings, forcing events like concerts, theatre productions and festivals to be cancelled or postponed. The curbs are due to end on May 4 but may be extended.

The pledge to carry on with the event here comes after the main Gamescom festival to be held in Cologne, Germany, has been cancelled and will only take place online.

But it is still full steam ahead for Singapore.

Koelnmesse noted on the Gamescom Asia website on April 6 that it has been receiving enquiries about the impact of Covid-19 on the event, adding "that the health of all trade fair participants is paramount".

It added: "We expect the situation to ease considerably in the seven months leading up to Gamescom Asia and are confident that Gamescom Asia will go ahead on schedule from 15 to 18 October 2020."

 
 

If the event cannot take place, all parties would be promptly notified and any bookings made with Koelnmese would be refunded fully.

Gamescom, which has been held in Cologne every year since 2009, is a highlight in the gaming world.

Last year's show attracted 373,000 visitors and around 1,150 exhibitors from more than 50 countries, making it the industry's biggest event.

Gamescom is not the only large-scale gaming convention to be cancelled.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, one of the biggest platforms for developers to show off their new games, was set for Los Angeles in June but was called off last month.

Tech giant Microsoft and game developer Ubisoft said they would find alternatives to the live press conferences usually held in the run-up to the show.