Gamescom is one of the biggest gaming event in Europe, pulling in over 300,000 visitors in 2017, and 2018 is expected to be even bigger. Featuring highly anticipated games and hardware from the likes of Nintendo, Ubisoft, Activision, Microsoft and more, it gives gamers a chance to play games that aren’t out for a matter of months, or in some cases, even years.
Here’s everything you need to know about Gamescom 2018, from press conference information to what to expect from the big publishers at this year’s event.
Gamescom 2018 press conferences
While there were several big press conferences at Gamescom 2017, that’s not the case in 2018. Many of the biggest announcements were made at E3 2018, and we imagine that, for the majority of publishers, this will be a chance to let fans play the games announced two months prior.
There will still be one or two though, with Microsoft already confirming details about an Inside Xbox livestream being hosted on its Gamescom booth during the show.
Microsoft Gamescom 2018 livestream details
While it’s not an official press conference, Microsoft is set to host a special Inside Xbox livestream from the Xbox stand at the show, and is due to take place on the first day of the show, 21 August 2018, at 3:30pm BST for those of us in the UK.
Microsoft hasn’t said a word about what it’ll be showcasing during the livestream, but we’ve got a feeling that it’ll feature great indie game trailers from the company’s [email protected] Program, alongside new gameplay trailers and possibly even a hardware announcement. While we’re still some time away from the Xbox Two, sources claim that Microsoft is gearing up to reveal the Xbox Elite 2 controller during the show.
Like with most Xbox-themed Microsoft events, you’ll be able to watch the Microsoft Gamescom 2018 livestream through Microsoft’s Xbox Mixer page.
What to expect at Gamescom 2018
Ahead of release later this year, the main focus for Microsoft at E3 2018 will be on Forza Horizon 4. While we got to take a look at the game at E3 2018, the demo was fairly limited, and we hope that a more substantial demo of the game will be available to play at the European show.
We’re also hoping to see something new from Crackdown 3, whether it be a trailer during the Inside Xbox livestream or a new demo at the Xbox booth. Crackdown 3 was available to play at Gamescom last year, but the demo was incredibly limited. With the final release date set (we hope), it’d be good to see some of Crackdown’s crazy gunplay and destruction in action.
Oh, and we’re fairly sure that Microsoft will showcase the next two major pieces of DLC for Sea of Thieves – Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores – ahead of release later this year.
Sony hasn’t really had much of a presence at Gamescom in recent years, and it doesn’t look like 2018 will be any different. While there will be a Sony stand at the show run by PlayStation Germany, there won’t be any huge announcements from Sony during the show. The company tends to save those for Paris Games Week in October instead.
We expect to see demos of Marvel’s Spider-Man available at the show, especially considering it has gone gold and is due to be released the week after the show. We’re also hopeful of a Days Gone demo, though we’re not holding our breath for anything The Last of Us: Part II-related.
Ubisoft showcased an impressive array of games during E3 2018, and we imagine that it’ll also be the case at Gamescom, though most will likely be behind-closed-doors appointments for press.
In terms of public access, we’re confident that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be available to play on the show floor ahead of release later this year, just as Origins was in 2017. We also imagine that the public will finally get to spend some time with Ubi’s new toys-to-life IP, Starlink, along with new content from Rainbow Six Siege.
Unlike other publishers at Gamescom 2018, the majority of Activision’s titles are due for release this year, and thus, should offer more advanced demos than what you may find on offer for the likes of Skull & Bones.
Let’s start with the big one; Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It’ll be the main focus for Activision at Gamescom 2018 ahead of a November release, and we expect it to be playable on the show floor. It’d be the perfect time to showcase the game’s upcoming Blackout Battle Royale mode too.
We’re also confident that the new Destiny 2 DLC will be available. Destiny 2: Forsaken features a new campaign, a new Raid and a brand-new team multiplayer mode called Gambit.
Last, but by no means least, we expect Activision to present the highly anticipated Spyro remaster to the public for the first time.
While many were hoping for Fallout 76 to be playable at Gamescom 2018 in some shape or form, that’s sadly not the case. That’s not to say Bethesda isn’t at the show in a big way this year though; the company has confirmed that you’ll be able to play several upcoming games at its stand in a few weeks’ time.
The main title on display at Bethesda’s stand is Rage 2, the post-apocalyptic FPS due for release in Spring 2019, alongside VR title Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. The VR game takes place twenty years after the events of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and see’s players step into the shoes of a French Resistance hacker, hacking Nazi robots and causing chaos.
You’ll also be able to get your hands on The Elder Scrolls: Blades for the first time anywhere in Europe ahead of release on iOS and Android later this year.
Rather unsurprisingly, Nintendo’s Gamescom 2018 presence is likely to be focused around two of the biggest Switch titles coming this year; Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokemon: Let’s Go! We fully expect these to be available to play on the show floor, though if the interest is anything like Super Mario Odyssey back in 2017, you may be queueing literally hours to play them.
Alongside the two big titles, we also expect to see Super Mario Party and other third-party Switch games at the Nintendo stand.
Unlike with E3, EA usually has a massive presence at Gamescom, and it’s much the same in 2018. What isn’t confirmed yet is whether the publisher will be holding a pre-Gamescom preview event to showcase new gameplay and new announcements from upcoming EA titles. With highly anticipated EA games like Battlefield V and Anthem coming out soon, it’d be a good time for EA to get the hype train rolling.
We expect EA’s focus to be on FIFA 19, with Europe being one of the biggest markets for the annual football game. It’s likely that Battlefield V will be playable in some shape or form given that it’s due for release in a matter of months, and while it hasn’t been confirmed, we’re hopeful of a new Anthem demo following huge demand at E3 2018.
Gamescom 2018 Exhibitor List
While we’ve mentioned the biggest names at Gamescom 2018 above, there will be hundreds of companies showcasing their software and hardware during the game-focused event. While there are too many to list, here are a few to look out for:
- 505 Games
- Bandai Namco
- CD Projekt RED
- Epic Games
- Square Enix
- Warner Bros