SPIEL'20 is going digital. The International Matchdays in Essen will not take place as a physical event this year, but will now be given a new format. Friedhelm Merz Verlag announced this via social media. The date for the "SPIEL.digital" will be the period from October 22nd to 25th, i.e. the original date of the trade fair. Details are to follow in the coming weeks.

The international game days were canceled due to the corona pandemic and the associated security requirements, more precisely: postponed to the year 2021. in the Interview on the background to the cancellation of SPIEL'20 Publishing boss Dominique Metzler had already indicated that Friedhelm Merz Verlag was already working "on alternative formats". However, Metzler did not reveal any further details. 

SPIEL takes place purely digitally

There is not much new information, but it is now officially certain: SPIEL'20 will take place as a purely digital trade fair. 

Fans on social media had already called for the International Match Days to be converted into a "virtual format", but were unsure of exactly what a digital SPIEL could actually look like. Those responsible at the organizing Friedhelm Merz Verlag have been working on the implementation for a few weeks. This emerges from the official announcement of "SPIEL.digital" in a social media post. 

There are no details on the new format, but the trade fair is to be moved to the Internet "with hundreds of exhibitors, countless new products and a great program". The date for the digital International Game Days corresponds to that of the physical trade fair event: from October 22nd to 25th, games will be presented in the new format and SPIEL will be "taken to the next level", according to Friedhelm Merz Verlag.

There was already digital content at SPIEL - but now the entire event is to be converted into a new format. Photo: André Volkmann

Gambling on the Nintendo Switch: There was already digital content at SPIEL - but now the entire event is to be converted into a new format. Photo: André Volkmann

This year, the International Game Days, like Gamescom, are relying on a purely digital presence. What delights fans at Gamescom, but is almost taken for granted, is an unusual step for SPIEL. Although the world's largest trade fair for board games has changed enormously in recent years and has repeatedly taken steps towards more digital offers, the focus has always been on the gaming tables in the halls, which are spread over the days over 200.000 visitors last year romped about - new record.

It will be interesting to see what the organizers will do for the end of October. Friedhelm Merz Verlag wants to follow up on details. Further information is available at www.spiel-messe.com.

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