Looking Back at Gamescom 2013

Gamescom is Europe’s biggest game industry convention, with attendance last year reaching over 340,000. Gamescom attracts the likes of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and other major studios to Cologne, Germany every year. 

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With Gamescom 2014 wraping up tomorrow, we’re looking back at some of the big news from last year with our thoughts and impressions coming soon.

Console Announcements and News:

Last year marked the releases of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 and both Microsoft and Sony were at Gamescom 2013 talking about their new platforms.

Major platform exclusives for both were available to play on the show floor. In terms of showing off, Sony gave the most information and announced the street date and pricing for the Playstation 4 while Microsoft wasn’t ready at the time to give similar details. Sony also announced a price drop for the Vita along with the rest of the pricing information.

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Even though Nintendo didn’t have a console being released in 2013, they were still there showcasing popular titles for the Wii U like Super Mario 3D World and more.

Technology:

Besides the console manufacturers, Gamescom also saw new information from recent hardware trends of Google Glass and the Oculus Rift.

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Developer AMA was showcasing the porting of one their Android titles: Escape! to Google Glass. The Rift was being noticed by major developers such as Ubisoft who were excited about the prospect of using the Oculus Rift. Big news from EVE Online developer CCP who announced their next game set in the EVE universe: EVE Valkyrie will also have Rift support.

Presentations and Interviews:

Besides showcasing off the newest games and hardware, there were plenty of interviews about strategy for the coming year.

Peter Moore, COO for EA talked about EA’s vision of releasing all their games with some kind of online functionality. This was especially interesting considering EA’s less than stellar history with online support. Both with turning off online systems of older titles and the controversy surrounding SimCity 5’s online feature that was eventually turned off.

Another interview with Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin detailed the challenge of multi platform releases Call of Duty Ghosts onto 6 different platforms. Often overlooked, it’s still a topic that’s important for developers to understand.

Looking Ahead:

Gamescom 2013 was all about the future in terms of hardware. With both Sony and Microsoft trying to put the best foot forward long with the Rift and Google Glass.

Following the conference, we saw how things played out in the game market. Both the PS4 and Xbox One have done alright, but are still lacking in terms of system sellers. Google Glass has been noticeably quiet these past few months and there haven’t been any big announcements for them in terms of game design.

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The big mover would obviously be the Oculus Rift who as we know was bought by Facebook this year. There are plenty of people interested in seeing what’s next for the Rift as the developer kit version 2 is slowly being rolled out to preorders. And given the excitement for the rift in 2013, there is no doubt that they had a showing this year.

Stay tuned next week as Xsolla was at Gamescom this year and we’ll be posting our thoughts on the conference very soon.

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