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German chancellor Angela Merkel to open Gamescom 2017

First time the country's leader will open long-running video games expo

The organisers behind Gamescom have announced Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, will officially open this year's event in Cologne.

Merkel will visit the trade and consumer games show on Tuesday, August 22nd at its usual venue of Cologne's Koelnmesse exhibition centre.

It will be the first time a head of the German government has opened Gamescom, despite the event running in Cologne since 2009. Nonetheless, the nation's games trade association and Gamescom sponsor BIU sees this as a major step forward.

""We consider it a great honour and a sign of recognition that Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will this year participate in the opening tour of gamescom", says managing director Felix Falk. "The visit of Dr. Merkel underlines the importance of the games industry for the cultural, digital and business location of Germany.

"Whether virtual reality, gamification or 3D simulations: the technologies of the games industry already play a central role in the digitalisation and networking of the economy and society. Germany needs a strong games industry in order to also secure itself a top position in the digitalised economy."

The Chancellor's visit will no doubt result in increased security at the show. Measures were already ramped up last year following a spate of attacks in Germany.

Gamescom is the biggest event in the games industry's calendar. Last year, the show saw 345,000 visitors - a mix of consumers and industry professionals - visiting from 97 countries.

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Latest comments (4)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 months ago
Wow. That gives the industry a level of credibility and respectability I've not seen it given in a long time.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 5 months ago
Sunday, 24th of Semptember = general elections.
Standing of Merkel's party when it comes to digital legislation = disastrous.

Just today the German supreme court voided one of her surveillance bills while Merkel is busy trying to legalize government hacking the very same day. I guess she rather sees herself as the leader of the surveilled world, not the free one. Meanwhile Merkel's party is trying hard to drive streamers out of business by demanding the register for expensive broadcast licences.

Sorry, this is not the type of respectability you are looking for. Get the German president for symbolic gestures, not the chancellor in campaign mode. Get Michael Hasslehoff for everything else and have a laugh..
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Christopher Dring Publisher, GamesIndustry.biz5 months ago
Whether you agree with her policies or not, Merkel is a hugely respected global leader. And her opening Gamescom is a major coup not just for the German market, but the global games industry.

Now, I wonder if Corbyn is available for EGX...
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Ruben Monteiro Engineer 5 months ago
I suppose having a decaying politician with a tendency for catastrophic strategic decisions on a game show could be a laugh, if they get her to play an RTS for the audience.
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