But this week it was clear the European territory has found the best solution to providing something that caters for both the Western-ised, retail focused part of the global games market, whilst being tailored to local tastes.
It also fulfills a joint purpose, with the marketing on the ground useful for getting messages across to the trade, as well as the thousands of gamers expected to turn up later in the week. Comparisons to Tokyo Games Show are particularly apt.
Perhaps there’s still a way to go – a few slick product announcements do not a trade fair make, after all. The High Street still needs a little bit of convincing that attendance is worthwhile, for one thing – UK retail was the one area of the trade noticable by its absence. And it was too early to say at the time of writing if the droves of consumer crowds promised for the end of the week would turn up – and make the amount spent on stands and demos by publishers pay off.
Nevertheless, Gamescom certainly felt like it had some purpose from the get go.
While the German-centric GDC Europe – which preceeded Gamescom in Cologne – probably needs to find its feet in the years to come (San Francisco, it ain’t), the overall standard of what was going on within Koelnmesse was slick and reassuring.
Certainly, it felt more relevant – and above all, worth the journey – than certain more introspective and, arguably, self-indulgent industry events.