Gamescom 2017 – Observations

I visited Gamescom, the largest game expo in Europe. I’m no gamer so playing games doesn’t interest me. I just hack mockups in Unity to test capability. The tech and trends are far more interesting.


1. E-Sports – is BIG. Gamers live stream their gameplay. Audiences watch and cheer for their teams. Live commentators. Big cash prizes.

2. Retro gaming – there’s always a market for those with nostalgia from arcade to Atari.

3. Giveaways – if you hear cheering from the far end of the hall, know that there’s a giveaway. Fool proof way to draw a crowd.

4. Cosplay / Roleplaying- people want an opportunity to dress up as their mythical heroes and have fun with kindred, without being judged. Quite cool, creative expression.

5. Culture – blends across language barriers and nationalities, common interests, even if virtual it unites.

6. Thrill – experienced in many forms by people with different talents. From real skateboarders to ultra focused gamer’s. We each have different triggers for that dose of endorphin’s.

7. Recognition – leader-boards, cheers, mission accomplished. There is satisfaction meeting milestones, even if virtual. Recognition of it just adds to the experience. We all want to feel awesome.

8. Market – gamer’s food, gamer’s chairs, t-shirts and memorabilia. So many things can be re purposed for different markets, just by changing the branding and messaging.

9. Digitization – does not apply to the entire gaming sector. Cards and board games are still wildly popular for long session, relaxed, at your own pace leisure.

10. Experiences – in the physical world, with real humans, big stages, loud music, festival vibe. This trumps the virtual world

11. Age – I feel old observing this generation. I may be tech savvy and connected, but it’s hard to relate. Best to try to gain an understanding even if you’re not involved.

12. Most importantly, if I want to enter the gaming market I can’t do it alone. Need to work with someone who really “gets it”

Here are some of the highlights I uploaded to Instagram:

Gamescom Cologne 2017 selection #koelnmesse #germany #gaming

A post shared by Zaid Mahomedy (@travpacker) on