Gamescom Asia postponed to 2021 over Covid-19 concerns

The venue for Gamescom Asia, Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, remains unchanged. PHOTO: GAMESCOM ASIA/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Gaming fans excited about a major gaming festival due to take place for the first time here in October will have to hit the pause button as it has been postponed due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

The inaugural Gamescom Asia, an offshoot of Germany's Gamescom, which is one of the world's largest gaming events, will now take place from Oct 14 to 17 next year. It had been scheduled from Oct 15 to 18 this year.

Organiser German trade fair company Koelnmesse said in a statement on Wednesday (June 10) that the decision was made to protect the health of visitors, exhibitors and staff.

"As much as we would have loved to bring the event to life this October, the current global crisis has forced us to recalibrate our wants for Gamescom Asia. The health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors and staff is paramount," said Koelnmesse Singapore managing director Mathias Kuepper.

"Moreover, for an inaugural event, we felt it was important to give the regional gaming community and fans the full experience of what an international event of this scale would be like, and not anything less."

This postponement comes after news that the main Gamescom festival to be held in Cologne, Germany, had to be cancelled and will only take place online.

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.

Koelnmesse had initially in April said that it would be proceeding with the festival, even as the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 here continued rising, and that it had expected the disease situation to "ease considerably" in the months leading up to October.

The venue for Gamescom Asia, Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, remains unchanged.

Organisers were expecting the event to attract more than 30,000 enthusiasts and gaming industry professionals from around the world at the festival this year.

The festival here will involve big names in the gaming world, who would debut new titles, set up booths to allow players to try new games out and organise e-sports competitions.

On Wednesday, Koelnmesse said that the decision to postpone the event to next year was made after it had consulted various stakeholders, partners and the Government.

Last year, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Koelnmesse to mark their new partnership for the upcoming festival.

STB's executive director for exhibitions and conferences Andrew Phua said that it remains committed to partnering with Koelnmesse for next year's festival.

"The inaugural event will be a highlight in Singapore's events calendar and provide new business opportunities for local and regional companies," said Mr Phua.

"We look forward to welcoming delegates to the event next year."

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