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Gamescom is Back In Person, and ModSquad Will Be There

After a two-year virtual pivot, Gamescom, the biggest gaming event worldwide, is back in person. Hundreds of thousands of industry pros and gaming enthusiasts will drop into Cologne, Germany, on August 24–28. With 1,000+ vendors exhibiting the latest games and tech, it’s the place to be for everyone who’s anyone in gaming. So of course, ModSquad will be there in full force. 

We’re excited to once again be partnering at the show with the UK Interactive Entertainment Association (UKIE), the only trade body for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry. Representing ModSquad will be CXO Rich Weil and VP, Sales Clive Jefferies. Gaming expo veterans, they offer an inside glimpse into the Gamescom experience and a preview of what the expected hot topics will be in 2022.

Rich Weil (left) and Clive Jefferies toast this year’s Gamescom.

Rich Weil (RW): Gamescom is such a unique show and experience. There are shows like GDC that are very industry based, geared toward people who work in games. Then you have PAX, which is very fan focused and tends to be a show for players and enthusiasts. Gamescom takes those and puts them together in a huge way. In 2019, 373,000 people came from all across Europe, North and South America, Asia, everywhere. There’s nothing else like it at that scale.

Clive Jefferies (CJ): There’s an amazing vibe at Gamescom. For the first few days, it’s not open to the general public. Perhaps six halls are set aside for business, where people go to get deals done. After that, it’s open to the masses, and hordes of people come wearing costumes, having a blast. They’ll visit the booths, play esports, and take in the massive displays, the demonstrations, the Jumbotrons. It’s insane.

RW: For game industry people, this is the place. Companies bring dozens of people to staff booths for the fans and, at the same time, you’ll see a lot of critical business dealings going on, such as venture capital people there to make publishing deals and game development teams evaluating new technologies.  

CJ: Right. You’ve got literally the entire games industry in one city. The number of networking events that take place that week are colossal. We’ll be darting about all week going from the expo to all of the related events to meet clients, partners, friends, and industry peers. I’ve been attending since 2008, and it was nothing compared to what it is now. One thing I’ve found interesting is that if you take a show like E3, a lot of game companies won’t do E3 but will do their own event nearby. I haven’t seen that at Gamescom. There are complementary events taking place, but they’re always associated with Gamescom.

RW: My first Gamescom was in 2011. At the time, I really wanted to solidify ModSquad as an integral part of the game industry, which it is today. We’re now, I’m happy to say, recognized as a partner that truly understands games and gaming. That’s important to clients, especially when they’re outsourcing player support, moderation, and the like. They’re protective of their players, so for them to place their trust in us is huge.

CJ: And now those companies are talking to us about the metaverse. It will be interesting to see just how many publishers and studios announce titles for the metaverse. That market barely existed when Gamescom was last in town. As with VR, they’ll be jumping on the bandwagon, and we’re already there to help them.

RW: The metaverse will be one of the hot topics of conversation, I expect. What we’ve seen in terms of the metaverse is that there are some big companies — think the biggest ones around — that have each signaled their interest in developing for the metaverse. And they’ve all been talking to each other about standards and cross-integration. Part of me is somewhat surprised that they’re doing that, but they almost have to. If you want the metaverse to happen, you can’t create 25 different small metaverses. That’s the whole point — it’s one singular experience.

CJ: I’m anticipating having numerous conversations about NFT and crypto, both of which have emerged as major components to the games experience, despite some controversy along the way.

RW: Absolutely. Although I think the conversations about crypto will be different at Gamescom. Back at GDC in March, there was unalloyed optimism. Now that different market forces have taken hold, there’s some internal self-examination about crypto. The concept is by no means dead or will be abandoned, but people are taking stock and figuring out how to make it work.

CJ: And ModSquad will be there to help them navigate any stormy market forces, as we’ve done for 15 years. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you in Cologne — and to partaking in my ritual of sipping on a frosty beverage overlooking the steps of the Dom.

RW: I’ll meet you there. Also, one of the big dishes in Cologne is haxen, so we have to hit up Haxenhaus, a restaurant where a lot of game industry people hang out during the show to have dinner.

CJ: Sounds like a plan.

Rich and Clive will be at Ukie’s booth during this year’s Gamescom event, so if you’re heading to Cologne for the expo, be sure to stop by and say hello.

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