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Gamescom sets another record for attendance

But with 370,000 visitors, venue management admit to congestion issues

It was another record year for attendance at Gamescom as the largest gaming event in Europe celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Around 370,000 people, including 31,200 trade visitors, flocked from 114 countries to the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, making it the biggest year yet for Gamescom.

With all the numbers up from the previous year, around 70 per cent of exhibitors were from outside the German games industry, the largest growth coming from the Netherlands, UK, and Austria.

"World premieres for the opening and a plus for the numbers of exhibitors and visitors underline the great relevance and attractiveness of Gamescom for gamers and the games industry," said Felix Falk, managing director of Game, the association of the German games industry and event sponsor.

"The extent to which games are in the meantime perceived as an economic factor, innovation drivers and cultural assets is nowhere so clear as at Gamescom: no other event in the world covers so many facets of games."

While high attendance obviously demonstrates the health of the industry, it continued to create a number of congestion problems around the venue.

Katharina Hamma, CEO of Koelnmesse, commented: "The quality of stay of visitors is of especially great importance to us and wasn't always assured this year. For this reason we continually optimised visitor logistics during ongoing trade fair operations.

"In consultation with our partner Game and the exhibitors, we will develop and implement measures for the further optimisation of the quality of stay following this year's gamescom."

The event attracted several guests from the political sphere including minister of state for digitalisation Dorothee Bär, Spanish minister for culture and sport José Guira, minister president of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet, and the mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker.

In order to celebrate a decade of Gamescom, the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the City of Cologne offered an illumination display on the banks of the Rhine.

The 11th year of Gamescom is scheduled to take place between August 20-24, 2019, once again at the Koelnmesse in Cologne.

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Ivy Taylor

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Ivy joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.

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