As with E3 2021, the gamescom once again opted for an all-digital event this year.
Over the course of a week, you’ll be able to attend a series of conferences, including a broadcast hosted by Geoff Keighley of The Game Awards, a showcase focusing on indie games, an Xbox presentation and a Destiny 2 showcase – so fans of videogames will be able to delight in what the future holds for the industry.
While more crowded than last year’s event, this gamescom is still more subdued than the gamescom we’ve known over the years – fortunately, just like at E3, the 2021 conferences were condensed into a single week rather than a list seemingly endless broadcasts during the summer. Ufa!
If you’ve followed our gamescom guides from years past, then you’ll know we’ve provided some basic information so you’ll know what to expect in advance – but, as always, there will certainly be some surprise announcements along the way.
Gamescom 2021 – general programming
If you want to watch the biggest events at the event, make sure you’re free on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, where all the big broadcasts will take place. While gamescom does offer some additional programming throughout the week, there are no details on this at the time of writing this guide.
Below you can see the date and time of all gamescom 2021 conferences:
|Gamescom 2021 Conference||conference date||Opening hours (Lisbon)||Time (Brasilia)|
|Destiny 2 Showcase||tuesday august 24||17:00||13:00|
|Xbox gamescom 2021 stream||tuesday august 24||18:00||14:00|
|games with opening night live||wednesday august 25||18:30||2:30 pm|
|gamescom Awesome Indies showcase||Thursday August 26th||7:30 pm||3:30 pm|
|Future Games Show||Thursday August 26th||21:00||17:00|
Below, you can read in detail everything we know about each of the conferences:
Destiny 2 Showcase – Tuesday, August 24th
- Portugal: 17:00 (Lisbon time)
- Brazil: 13:00 (Brasilia time)
Starting gamescom’s broadcast week in an unofficial way, we’ll have a Bungie show that will reveal the future of Destiny 2.
Highlight goes to the unveiling of the game’s next expansion, The Witch Queen, which has been pushed from Destiny’s usual year-end period to an early 2022 release.
Bungie should then reveal to us how it’s going to keep us busy until the expansion launches – including the reveal and immediate release of the new season, Season of the Lost, which will almost certainly kick off the events of The Witch Queen. A release date for the crossplay of Destiny 2 is also to be announced – one of the most anticipated quality of life features by gamers.
Finally, you learn that there is a pre-show that starts an hour early – details of what it contains have not yet been confirmed, but you learn that the main reveals will start at the above times.
Xbox gamescom 2021 – Tuesday, August 24th
- Portugal: 18:00 (Lisbon time)
- Brazil: 14:00 (Brasilia time)
Hosted by Parris Lilly and Kate Yeager, Xbox will also be present at gamescom with a dedicated event where “detailed updates” will be given on previously announced Xbox Game Studios titles. We anticipate that Forza Horizon 5 will be one of those titles and hopefully a release date will be revealed for Halo: Infinite. We also know that we will be getting some updates on the Xbox Game Pass and what to expect in the near future.
In short, don’t expect the ‘revolutionary’ show we had at E3 – just more details about some games already announced.
In addition, Bethesda Germany will be broadcasting on Twitch on Thursday, August 26th. Chances are there won’t be any reveals – but it’s possible that there will be new unreleased gameplay footage to be released, ideal to keep us busy until the weekend.
gamescom 2021 opening night live – wednesday august 25
- Portugal: 18:30 (Lisbon time)
- Brazil: 2:30 pm (Brasilia time)
The main attraction of this year’s virtual gamescom will feature more than 30 games in a two-hour broadcast “full of news, revelations, gameplay and more”, according to presenter Geoff Keighley.
Already confirmed, we have a new character for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania (we’ve had cameos from Sonic and Tails, Jet Set Radio and Yakuza so far), news on Genshin Impact and King of Fighters XV, Call’s “next gen real gameplay” of Duty: Vanguard, new footage from Lego Star Wars: Skywalker Saga and dotemu’s beat-em-up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a look at Devolver’s Massive Monsters game and perhaps a Saint’s Row reveal.
There is also a 30-minute pre-show with “eight additional world premieres”. We’ve included it in the schedules above, allowing you to maximize your share of world premieres – otherwise you can tune in to the main show at 7:00 pm (Lisbon time) or 3:00 pm (Brasilia time).
gamescom Awesome Indies showcase – Thursday, August 26th
- Portugal: 19:30 (Lisbon time)
- Brazil: 3:30 pm (Brasilia time)
This showcase, created in collaboration with IGN, is not presented at Koelnmesse’s salons in Cologne, but at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. This means we’re going to have a “beach day full of exclusive trailers, fun and games – a unique scene only Venice Beach residents can provide.”
To give you an idea of what to expect, last year brought us the first full Wonder Boy reveal – Asha in Monster World. Below is an official summary of what happened during last year’s event:
Future Games Show – Thursday 26th August
- Portugal: 21:00 (Lisbon time)
- Brazil: 17:00 (Brasilia time)
Hosted by Aaron LaPlante, The Duke’s Resident Evil Village interpreter and Maggie Robertson, the Lady Dimitrescu of RE Village, the Future Games Show returns to gamescom with an evening of “gameplay videos, walkthroughs with producers and world premieres”.
More than 40 games and “some special guests” were also revealed. To get an idea of what’s going to happen, the E3 Future Games Show event featured news about Jurassic World Evolution 2, Dying Light 2 Stay Human and OlliOlli World. In addition, there will be another virtual show floor that you can explore, where the streaming demos can be played on Steam.
What about other publishers’ gamescom 2021 plans?
For the fourth year in a row, don’t count on a showcase dedicated to PlayStation, a publisher that has been a big supporter of gamescom in previous generations. Like last year, it’s possible that she’s involved in the opening night show – but you’d better keep your expectations in check.
As for Nintendo, although it started to do more about gamescom in the years leading up to the pandemic, it seems to be more interested in creating its own programming this time of year – creating Indie World broadcasts in the weeks before gamescom in both 2020 and in 2021.
As for third parties, Konami said it is preparing ads for eFootball – the new free-to-play version of PES – as well as Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel.
Finally, the web series Dying Light 2 Stay Human is also included in gamescom’s schedule, on Thursday, August 26 at 7:00 pm (Lisbon time) or 3:00 pm (Brasilia time) – and will focus on specifically in parkour and combat.