The first two days of Gamescom 2017 are over. Time for a first conclusion on the world's largest trade fair for interactive entertainment electronics. While some premieres at the Cologne trade fair have already brought some entries into the history books, after the Wednesday of the trade fair, many gamers agree: there are many great games, but few surprises. The big publishers rely on their proven brands and hardly take any risks in 2017. Surprises come more from the dwarfs of the industry - and from the Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, who spoke into the hearts of the players in her role as the likeable top federal gamer.
Chancellor opens Gamescom 2017
The opening of Gamescom 2017 already started with a historically memorable event: for the first time in the history of Gamescom, a German head of government opened the event. Federal Chancellor Dr. On August 22, 2017, Angela Merkel spoke to invited guests and media representatives about the importance of games for the German cultural and innovation landscape - and did not shy away from a short but clear excursion into the controversial topic of violent games. If the Chancellor of a "evolving industry speaks", to whom she likes to show her reference, then this shows the special status that games can - maybe even have to - play in a society.
Contrary to some predictions, the Chancellor was open to the games industry and underlined the importance of this branch of business not only as an economic factor for the Federal Republic of Germany. Angela Merkel really got into that with her statements Heart of Gaming of all game enthusiasts. Limiting the Chancellor's statements to digital games would not be appropriate for the German gaming landscape: after all, board and parlor games are also understood as cultural assets. And they are creative anyway.
Although games were used for entertainment in everyday life, they can "Spark enthusiasm for science and technology". The Chancellor sees potential in game-based learning in particular that should not be underestimated. Using computer games in parts of school lessons makes it easier for children and young people to deal with the new media and technologies. Ultimately, so-called networked thinking and digital learning should not only be promoted from voluntary initiatives, but within the framework of a targeted provision of suitable content on the part of the federal government. The individual education ministries of the federal states could then emerge from this eCloud serve - also to bring the imparted knowledge and skills in all federal states to a uniform level. In addition to didactically meaningful games, pedagogical skills are required above all in order to accompany children and young people in the border area between the real and the virtual world. If you consider the current development and demand for virtual content, this statement is of great importance. The fact that around two thirds of all children regularly deal with digital games - with special consideration of the smartphone as a play device - shows that the gaming sector cannot be ignored in schools either.
Against this background, the Chancellor presents not only the use of digital media, but also the requirements of data protection as a constantly developing process, to which developers and supervisory authorities must not ignore. The knowledge and ability is the most important resource of the service providers in the Federal Republic of Germany. Digital learning is "Lifelong learning, in the truest sense of the word, which is easier for the young than for the old."
In view of the current technological developments, the industrial sectors and games can no longer be separated. "3-D, augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are the high-tech examples that are also becoming increasingly important in industry", said the Chancellor on the subject of Industry 4.0. For the future, it is therefore important to use the synergies between the individual industries. A high-performance infrastructure is necessary for the use of new technologies, which is currently hardly or not at all, especially in rural regions. The expansion of broadband internet and fiber optic access must therefore continue to be pushed in parallel to the transport infrastructure projects.
One should not assume that the Chancellor will raise the subject of violent games at an entertainment event of her own free will. She did it anyway - and made it unmistakably clear that blanket statements are unacceptable. Assuming brutal game content that it negatively impacts the development of young people per se is not a basis for discussion. General statements that were made in the past in the context of the so-called killer games debate are simply not acceptable: a differentiated analysis of the content of violent games should be a matter of course, especially for media representatives. The latter also so that you can even get the “Take concerns and worries seriously” can, as the Chancellor demands in her opening speech.
In conclusion, Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel to the German educator Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel: "The source of all goodness is in play." Which then also says everything important.
In addition, Gamescom 2017 is historic in several ways. For the first time in the history of the fair, Romania is represented with its own pavilion in Cologne. And Brazil has also sent an official delegation to the world's largest trade fair for interactive consumer electronics for the first time. Representatives of the South American country will be exhibiting current projects at the booth of the Indie Arena Booth in Hall 10.1. The fact that Hall 1 is occupied for the first time in the history of the fair sounds almost like a side note, but it increases the Gamescom exhibition area by a whopping 8.000 square meters. This increased the exhibition area to 201.000 square meters.
Publisher with great games but few surprises
The well-known publishers spared no expense or effort to attract the Gamescom visitors to their stands. What fans get there is breathtaking - but above all colorful, loud and full of action. Electronic Arts and DICE are fighting Star Wars fans with epic space battles as part of the new shooter Battlefront 2* around the ears, which will be released on November 17th, 2017 for PC and console. Ubisoft leaves the game series for the new offshoot Far Cry an advertising banner from an airplane float above the landmark of the city of Cologne.
Blizzard Entertainment impresses with stand structures that are as swanky as they are loving, which draws fans en masse into the hall. The “Blizzard Reveal Ceremony” was eagerly awaited on Gamescom Wednesday, but the fans were rather disappointed in the end. Instead of providing information about a new add-on to World of Warcraft, Games Director Ion Hazzikostas presented detailed information about the upcoming "Patch 7.3: The Shadows of Argus“ – including a release date of August 30, 2017. While this pleases the players of the MMORPG World of Warcraft, it is far from what die-hard Blizzard fans promised from the unveiling ceremony.
After all: the presented cut scenes and animated films made fan hearts beat faster. If there's one thing Blizzard can do, it's tell stories.
Microsoft, too, relied on showmanship rather than surprises. The console monster Xbox One X* is exhibited in a darkened room. Appropriately behind the protective panes of a showcase. The device was not in use. Gamers can only determine the quality of the console based on the game content of games such as Force 7 or Sea of Thieves guess, which also make an excellent impression on the Xbox One S.
Nintendo has the new one Nintendo 2DS XL in the luggage, which has been available in stores since June 28th. The new handheld is an improved version of the Nintendo 2DS and even plays 3DS games - but in a conventional 2D look. Fans can play the new game from the successful Metroid series about the main character Samus Aran, which is actually a remake: Metroid - Samus Returns. The game is a classic side scroller and will be released on September 15, 2017.
Indie games also became a trend theme in 2017
The scope of the Indie Arena Booth grows in parallel with the overall event. Not necessarily measured in terms of the exhibition space, but at least in terms of the number of exhibitors. In the area of so-called indie games, there are almost endless ideas. Financial resources for implementation, on the other hand, are in short supply. Over the years, the Indie Arena has established itself as an important point of contact for independent developers who have not only put their heart and soul into a project, but often all of their savings as well. Gamescom 2017 offers ambitious game developers the perfect platform to draw attention to their innovative, sometimes absurdly creative game concepts. What defines this association of independent developers is above all the family atmosphere. Aside from the highly polished stands of the well-known publishers, in the Indie Arena you come into contact with the people who are behind the games. Last but not least, the download figures show that indie games can become serious competitors for game highlights.
Indie games often exude a completely different kind of feel that is reminiscent of the uncomplicated beginnings of video gaming - imaginable, for example, as a classic couch gaming situation that also includes the quiz game That's You! (Wish Studios) takes center stage.
The simple strategy behind the indie arena is the famous five minutes of fame. Instead of having to limit yourself to a mini-booth that is affordable but almost invisible, the association of indie developers gives the projects the attention they deserve.
Virtual Reality: Wired was yesterday
The world of virtual realities is growing slowly but steadily. This is not only due to the comparatively high acquisition costs for the hardware, but also to the practicality of the current VR devices. It is the VR headsets in particular that give users headaches and cable clutter. Hunting in the living room at home without wrapping the headset cord around your neck is a challenge.
Some hardware manufacturers have recognized this fact and developed innovative devices to make wired headsets wireless in the future. So far this only affects the currently most expensive hardware solution, namely the HTC Vive, but it is a start. TP-Cast wants to increase the freedom of movement of VR users, but is also aware of the disadvantages of wireless connections. TP-Cast 2.0 should therefore reduce the latency to less than 2 milliseconds, which corresponds to almost instantaneous transmission. However, this hardware solution is not entirely free of restrictions either. In some countries in the DA-CH region, sales are scheduled to start in September.