Singapore will host Gamescon, the world’s largest video game festival, in 2020 – the first time it’s held outside Europe

Gamers play video games during the opening of the world’s largest computer games fair Gamescom in Cologne.

Singapore is well on its way to becoming the epicentre of Asia’s gaming industry, as it prepares to host the inaugural Asian edition of Gamescom (Gamescon Asia) – the world’s largest computer and video games festival.

The Singapore Tourism board (STB) announced in a statement on Wednesday (May 29) that the festival is slated for October 15 to 18, 2020, after a memorandum of understanding was signed with trade fair organiser Koelnmesse.

It will also be the first Gamescon held outside of Europe.

Since 2009, Koelnmesse has been organising the world’s largest international games festival in Cologne, Germany annually. In the past decade, it has become recognised as the leading business platform for the games industry in Europe, seeing more than 300,000 attendees each year.

Organising the Asian edition of the festival in Singapore is part of Koelnmesse’s efforts to grow its “global competence” in digital media and entertainment, according to the statement.

The festival will consist of a two-day industry gaming conference and a trade and public exhibition held over three days.

Other highlights include e-sports events, a showcase of emerging video game technology, gaming workshops, meet-and-greet sessions and cosplay theatrics. There will also be a launch of global titles and an “extensive” display of gaming-related offerings, said STB.

Keith Tan, chief executive of STB, said: “Apart from adding vibrancy to our events calendar, we aim for Gamescon Asia to position Singapore as the natural base for the development and commercialisation of digital and gaming content, which in turn will support our digital media industry.”

The festival will also serve as an avenue for industry thought leaders, local and regional buyers as well as gaming industry professionals to network and share information with their international counterparts.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority’s chief industry development officer, Howie Lau, said: “This event will offer games companies access to new business opportunities and connect international publishers, developers and professionals with the thriving games market in the region.”

Gamescon Asia will complement other gaming-related events happening in Singapore, namely Singapore ComicCon – formerly known as the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention – and consumer video gaming convention Gamestart Asia, STB added.

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