It feels like E3 has only just wrapped up, and yet here we are already discussing Gamescom 2017, which now seems like it's just around the corner.
We are talking about Gamescom already because it was announced on Thursday that Dr. Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, will officially open this year's conference in Cologne, Germany. This announcement comes from a joint statement released by convention organizer Koelnmesse and the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU).
Merkel will appear on August 22nd, which is the opening day of the show, according to a statement given to Polygon. This is the official first day of the convention, although this day is only open to the media. It isn't until the next day, August 23rd, that the convention is open to the public.
As for what the German chancellor will actually do to open the show, we don't yet know. The press release simply reads that she will "participate in the opening tour." However, I believe it is likely that she may make some sort of speech on that day.
While Gamescom has been running in Germany since 2009, and Merkel has been chancellor since 2005, this will mark the first time that Merkel makes an appearance at the largest video game trade show in the world. Last year, over 345,000 attendees came to the conference. To put that number into perspective, an estimated 68,000 people attended E3 this year.
The organizers of Gamescom seem to be especially excited about Merkel's upcoming appearance, including managing director Felix Falk, who said the following:
We consider it a great honor and a sign of recognition that Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will this year participate in the opening tour of Gamescom. The visit of Dr. Merkel underlines the importance of the games industry for the cultural, digital, and business location of Germany.Merkel will be seeking reelection for her fourth term as the chancellor of Germany this September.
Gamescom 2017 will run from August 22nd to August 26th.