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Top 5 Takeaways from Gamescom 2017

Trends and Insight 227 Add to collection

From mobile gaming’s AAA ambitions and Angela Merkel’s opener, the Biborg team share their highlights

Top 5 Takeaways from Gamescom 2017

Gaming is big business and one of the fastest expanding creative frontiers. One of the best places to get your head around what’s happening in gaming is Gamescom in Cologne. This year it took place from the 21st to 25th August, and pulled a record crowd. With so much going on, the team from Biborg – a Paris and London based creative company that really digs gaming – headed to Cologne to find out where the industry is going.


1. Angela Merkel at Gamescom

German Chancellor Angela Merkel officially opened the video game fair on the 22nd of August in Cologne. Her presence demonstrates the importance of Gamescom as one of the flagship cultural events in Europe. It is, after all, the largest video game show in the world with more than 350,000 visitors. The event demonstrates the economic impact of the sector in Germany and Europe. It is also a good place for ‘Mutti’ Merkel to get closer to German youth as part of her campaign for the upcoming legislative elections, which will take place on the 24th of September.

2. The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds phenomenon 

The most talked-about title in the alleys of Gamescom was actually released way back in the Spring of 2017. It now beats all growth records: it is the most played video game on the Steam platform on August 27th (870,000 simultaneous players) and second most watched game on Twitch, after the famous League of Legends. 

Created by Irishman Brendan Greene and edited by the Korean Bluhole studio, this battle-royale shooter game reinvents the shooting game concept and is already shadowing the famous Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Its success is explained by the strong emotional impact on players, the simplicity of the game’s concept (100 players, 1 sole survivor) and the particular attention paid to community feedback. The game was present at the Microsoft conference and an E-sport competition with ESL.

3. Mobile Games for Gamers

If any sector is really upping its game – pun intended – it’s mobile gaming. Quick and snackable mobile games a la Candy Crush, Angry Birds are now beginning to be replaced by AAA mobile games. Studios are embracing this trend by spending more time on developing mobile games with in-depth narratives, story development and AAA gameplay. These games require a lot more investment of time and effort from the players. Some gamers’ stories even reveal that they stopped playing games like DOTA2 to fully commit into a game like Clash of Clans for instance. 

Even established publishers are now showcasing more mobile games. It was interesting to notice, for example, that Bandai Namco presented four console games and four mobile games on their booth this year with Tales of the Rays, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Blazing, Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle and Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag.

With mobile devices becoming ever more powerful and people spending more and more time on their smartphones, it would be silly to think that AAA mobile games won’t be taking over in the next few years.

4. Amazon, the new Netflix of Gaming?

Amazon strongly increased their presence at this year’s Gamescom. The game Breakaway had its own arena where the game was being made playable for the first time. Teams of four could then fight against each other while people sat down and watched, listening to live commentators.  

Amazon seems to be moving towards a video game publishing model and not only showcasing their digital App Store. Owning Twitch, the giant is developing an extremely compelling model in which those video games are specifically built with streaming in mind. Being focused on creating video games that are equally fun to play than watch is clearly the future.

5. Always More E-Sport 

While E-sport and competitive games have always been present at Gamescom, but this year it was huge and the public’s growing interest was evident. Many publishers organise competitions such as Call of Duty: WWII, FIFA 18, Rainbow Six: Siege, Hearthstone, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Rocket League, Starcraft II. The presence of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds at the Microsoft conference is a strong message too and shows the importance of the competitive sphere for industry and players.



Bruno Luriot - @BrUbRu

Ismael El-Hakim - @ismaelhakim

Kais Ali Benali - @kaisalibenali

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Categories: Gaming, Sports and Leisure

Biborg, Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:37:31 GMT