An Insider’s Look at Gamescom 2023

5 Insider Tips to Getting Your Game Published
July 29, 2023
Alberta’s Tech Awards Watch List
August 30, 2023
Show all

An Insider’s Look at Gamescom 2023

This past week Digital Alberta headed across the pond to attend the largest gaming expo in the world, Gamescom, in Cologne Germany. The convention takes over the entire Koelnmesse Trade Center, which boasts 10 massive expo halls and over 3 million square feet of floor space. During the 5 day event every inch of the building comes alive with game demos, unbelievable installations from games and movies, and representatives from companies and countries from around the world. 

While the Digital Alberta team spent most of the conference connecting with publishers, investors, and trade counterparts in the business halls, five of our members were at Gamescom to build strategic relationships and showcase their games to over 350,000 attendees. Keep reading to learn about their experience!

Crimson Herring Studios attended Gamescom for the second time with the goal of building market traction, obtaining exposure and eliciting player feedback as they complete the development of their Victorian steampunk narrative game, Sovereign Syndicate. Founder Isaac Otway also met with a number of publishers and potential investors. On demoing their game he said “it’s always a pleasure to show the game to the public and get feedback. Even if they aren’t saying anything, just watching helps you understand how intuitive and cohesive the user experience is.” The big success of the expo was receiving hundreds of Steam follows each day to which he credited his participation in the Edmonton Screen Industries Office delegation which provided support on logistics and access to peer to peer connections. 

Itzy Interactive also attended Gamescom for the second time to expand their network with international contacts and get feedback on their new game, Mad Devils, a cooperative shooter game. Managing Director, Kyle Kulyk had early traction at the conference when he found an opportunity for co-production with another studio that he is excited to pursue in the fall. The team also validated that the game is showing well while showcasing in the indie hall and received great feedback, “seeing the game played the way it’s supposed to be played by gamers is rewarding and there is a big difference showing to the dedicated crowd at Gamescom than other public events.”

Inflexion Games, one of Edmonton’s largest studios, launched their latest trailer for Nightingale, a shared world survival crafting game, during the opening night festivities.  While the executive team attended a number of meetings and events with their major investor, Tencent, they also had an impressive installation at the expo with a massive portal display and cosplay characters from the game to build momentum and excitement. It made for some spectacular photo ops for attendees! Keep your eyes peeled for the game’s release on Feb 22, 2024.

Shifty Eye Games’ CEO Tuncer Deniz attended his first Gamescom and held meetings with industry players like Nintendo, Microsoft and Epic, to discuss plans for their upcoming game release while currently operating in stealth mode. They also made connections with providers for services including localization, distribution, porting, and marketing. Tuncer noted “It’s really important for our studio to have these connections and it’s much easier to build relationships face to face. The connections we built here are crucial to the success of our game as we announce later this year and launch in 2024.”

Zugalu had a very successful Gamescom with the announcement of their new publishing agreement for their world builder game, Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown, with Australian based PlaySide Publishing. On the heels of this exciting announcement, the event offered an opportunity to connect with the PlaySide team, meet with vendors and industry contacts, and capitalize on media opportunities for their game which is slated to be released in the first quarter of 2024. 

If you have a studio and are interested in joining the Gamescom delegation in 2024, connect with our team to stay in the loop for all the funding, supports, and information related to the event.