Gamescom 2015 is happening from August 5-9 in Cologne, Germany. If you’ve heard of E3 you know that it’s a huge video game trade show that takes place in Los Angeles every year. Well, Gamescom is even bigger.

And unlike E3, Gamescom is open to the public. Well, partially.

When the show starts on August 5, it will be open to media and industry tradespeople. After that it opens to visitors of all ages. Earlier in the week, companies hold press conferences to make announcements about their projects for the coming couple of years.

But didn’t all the big announcements happen at E3? Not quite. Gamescom has over 300,000 visitors, and 88 countries participate in the show. It’s a chance to see what’s new in gaming and what might get lost in the crush of AAA titles at E3.

Borderlands Cosplay Gamescom

Borderlands cosplayers at Gamescom.


Notably absent from the press conference list this year is Sony. This is the first time since Gamescom’s beginning in 2009 that Sony won’t participate. Instead, they’re doing a press briefing during Paris Games Week, which is October 28-November 1. At last year’s Gamescom, Sony announced Tearaway Unfolded.

Still, the press conferences aren’t why fans are attending Gamescom. There are lots of events and attractions for gamers, and families.

This year, Gamescom introduced a “family and friends” area to allow families with kids a retreat from the crowds. Gamescom family play

There’s a retro gaming area where kids can experience the games their parents grew up on, and a lot of athletic challenges like micro golf and a game called HEADIS that is described as table tennis with a twist. Gamescom is also putting on a youth skateboarding workshop on a course built at the conference center.

There are also the traditional face-painting and craft activities. For adults, there is a lounge area and information provided by the USK, which is Germany’s equivalent of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Of all the big video game conventions, it seems like Gamescom has the most activities that all family members can enjoy together.

Gamescom Motocross

Moto-cross shows happen four times a day at Gamescom.

Outside of the family area, there is a huge moto-cross show four times a day, an artificial beach where con-goers can relax, and a whole area for cosplay. Laser tag and paintball, RC car races, and computer case-modding competitions are also part of the activities.

And then, of course, there are actually video games. Gamescom puts on an event called Parental-LAN where education professionals who teach using games present their work. Like at PAX, visitors can visit exhibits on the show floor and get a chance to play games that haven’t been released yet.

We’ll be bringing you the news of Gamescom 2015 as it breaks, but if you’re considering a trip to Germany next year, maybe consider checking out the biggest gaming convention in the world while you’re at it.

This article was written by

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.