Gamescom is a big show. It's hard to put into words the sheer scope of the show, so let me put it into numbers: 275,000. That's how many people attended this year alone. With hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of press, and hundreds of thousands of fans, there is a lot to see and do, as you can imagine!
This year, a small group of us from En Masse went to Gamescom. While we were there we spoke to members of the media about TERA, but in between media appointments and other meetings, we snuck out to scope out the show floor. Just about everyone at En Masse is a gamer, and there's no way for a gamer to resist the pull of these huge booths, blaring lights from 20 foot HD screens displaying your favorite game, and that all important hands-on time with the next big hit. The first day, only media and industry people were allowed into the show, so it was slightly less crowded. We cruised around all eight of the hallways to see what was there, and picked our targets.
The show days were a blur of giving TERA presentations, talking with other game developers about their titles, and checking out other games we wanted to see whenever we could find time to hit the show floor. While we didn't get as much hands-on time as we would have liked with other games, we did get to see a lot of the amazing booths companies had made. All of us wanted to replace our desks at work with the World of Tanks demo desks (conveniently shaped like real tank turrets). I was also geeked out to see the incredible cars that the Forza and Need for Speed franchises always bring to shows like this. The list of games we wanted to see was long and distinguished: Gears of War 3, Prey, Rage 2, Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 (for internal debate on which was the best), Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and many more. We also had to check out the latest MMO offerings from everyone else (hey, it's research right?). Unfortunately, we weren't the only people who wanted to see those games, and the lines were insanely long. While the thought of brushing off all of our media and business appointments did cross our minds more than once, we never gave into temptation. And once we were back in the business center and talking about TERA, we were just as excited as we had been on the show floor.
We also ran into a few people we met at last year's show, and old friends and colleagues from previous jobs. Despite the large number of game companies and publishers out there in the world, the community is relatively small and tight-knit. Shows are always a good time to catch up with people, see how things are with them, and learn about new games or products they're working on.
Gamescom 2011 was a great place for En Masse to talk about TERA, meet new partners, get reacquainted with old friends, and check out the latest and greatest the industry has to offer. It definitely did not disappoint, and we're looking forward to next year already.