WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
Gamescom 2011 will run from Wednesday, August 17th to Sunday, August 21st. The first day is only open to trade visitors and the media, with the show opened to the public from Thursday, August 18th.
It will once again be held at the Koelnmesse international trade fair and exhibition center in Cologne. The exhibitors and their booths will be found in both the entertainment area (Halls 6 to 10), and the business area (Halls 4 and 5). The business area will not be open on the Saturday or Sunday.
There will also be several themed sections. The Online games area, for example, will be in Hall 9, while the new Gamescom Campus will be in Hall 8.
Throughout the week, additional events will be held around Cologne, including the Gamescom Festival, which runs from Friday to Sunday.
HOW DO I BOOK TICKETS?
Tickets will be available on arrival at Gamescom, and advanced tickets are already on sale online at www.gamescom-cologne.com.
These can be printed off at home, with the printout granting visitors direct access to the show – so there's no need to queue.
The printouts will also allow attendees to use all local public transport systems free of charge.
Trade visitor ticket prices start at €25.50 and advanced tickets are only available until Tuesday, August 16th.
HOW DO I GET THERE AND WHERE WILL I STAY?
As well as making your own arrangements to get to Cologne, travel can be booked through Gamescom's website.
For those planning to travel by air, Germanwings is offering return flights to several European cities for as little as €30. Meanwhile, Lufthansa is offering discounts on both domestic and international flights.
Alternatively, prices for trains to Cologne start at €70.
Accommodation can also be booked through the website. There are more than 75 partner hotels working with the organisers at Koelnmesse, with prices starting at €90 for a double room. A space in the Gamescom Camp costs from €29.50 per night.
The website also allows attendees to book bundles that include travel, accommodation and car rental.
So far, key players that have signed up to exhibit include:
AK Tronic, Alternate, ASUS, Avanquest, Bethesda, Bigben Interactive, Capcom, CD Projekt, City Interactive, Cooler Master, Deep Silver/Koch Media, dtp entertainment, Electronic Arts, Flashpoint, Frogster, Gala Networks, Hama, Just A Game, Konami, Mad Catz, McAfee, Microsoft, Namco Bandai, NCsoft, Nexon, Nintendo, Paradox Interactive, Paysafecard, Razer, Red 5 Studios, Riot Games, Rock Hippo Productions, Rondomedia, Sega, Sony Computer Entertainment, Steel Series, Symantec, Take-Two, THQ, Travian Games, Trion Worlds, Ubisoft, Valve, Vidis, Wargaming.net, Warner Bros., Xaitment, Xtend Global Media
The full list of exhibitors will be released after Gamescom's press conference on Thursday, June 16th.
France (incl. Ubifrance), Iran, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan
The UK has been named as the official partner country for Gamescom 2011.
WHAT IF I'M A JOURNALIST?
Pity you. All members of the press are advised to apply for press accreditation well in advance of the event. The application form can be found in the press section of the website. Koelnmesse warns that it will not be able to process any more requests for accreditation after Monday, August 1st. Separate accreditation is needed for GDC Europe, and can be applied for at www.gdceurope.com.
WHAT DOES GDC EUROPE HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
Gamescom will be preceded by GDC Europe, which will run from Monday, August 15th to Wednesday, August 17th. Returning to Cologne for the third year running, the conference has now expanded with four new summits dedicated to community management, independent games, smartphone and tablet games and social games.
WHAT IS THE GAMESCOM CAMPUS?
New to this year's event, the Campus is an area of the show aimed at parents, educators and young people. Exhibitors here will convey the cultural, academic and social benefits of gaming and the industry, as well as the skills required to create video games. There will also be a section dedicated to media education, dealing with issues such as the protection of minors.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
There are several events occuring throughout the week beyond the main trade fair. Highlights include:
Gamescom Opening with international award ceremony
Wednesday, August 17th, 7pm CET
Theater am Tanzbrunnen
The official opening reception for Gamescom 2011. Attendance is by invitation only. The night includes the Gamescom Awards – the first time this ceremony has been included in the trade fair's opening – which will honour the best games and products at the show.
Thursday, August 18th, 8pm CET
Theater am Tanzbrunnen
A night of fun, live music, fine food and plenty of drink. With
an expected attendance in the thousands, this celebration is open to the whole industry. Tickets are available through exhibitors.
Friday, August 19th – Sunday, August 21st Cologne city
Gamescom will be holding additional events in the centre of Cologne. National and international acts will be performing live music on each day. Confirmed acts include German stars Blumentopf, Martin Jondo and Kraftklub.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?