Gamescom for real 2014

Thursday, August 28 2014


Gamescom was really buzzing this year, so much so that it sold out completely. At one stage day tickets were reportedly being sold on at 10 times their face value. This is of course a fantastic result for the organisers and confirmation that the gaming industry is in very rude health indeed.

The two things that struck me the most were the prevalence of Virtual Reality and the extent to which e-sports and Multiplayer Online Battlefield Arenas have created even bigger audiences and of course, revenue. Not only were the queues snaking right the way around the Oculus Rift stand, as people waited patiently for the chance to experience another gaming dimension (hopefully without any vertigo or nausea) but the gaming arenas for the Wargaming family and others look increasing like something that you’d find in the NBA.

That isn’t to say that gaming culture is still firmly grounded in a comforting ethos of individuality and as ever the cosplay was definitely one of the highlights.

While every year, it seems as though the stands get bigger and the games ever bolder, I keep coming back to the thought that none of this would be possible without the humble but formidable power of the backbone networks that underpin it all. Would 27 million daily League-of-Legends combatants be able to do battle without a reliable network core? Somehow I think not.

If the congestion on the Wifi and even mobile broadband networks inside the exhibition hall were anything to go by, we certainly need more network capacity if we are to support the future demands of gaming in an Anywhereized world.

Considering the rise of Oculus Rift and wearable tech, the thought struck me that we might not even need to travel to Gamescom at all in future but I wouldn’t mind betting that 3 hour queues for a sneak preview of the newest releases will still be there.