German activist Angela Merkel has announced plans for a gradual rescue and monitoring of critical coronavirus measures, New York Times reported Wednesday, allowing more small businesses to reopen in the coming weeks. But the country's ban on major public events has been extended, and that will mean a major change for Germany's biggest sporting event, Gamescom.
Gamescom attracts over 350,000 annual attendees in Cologne, Germany. This year's event was expected to take place in August. 25-29, but the country's ban on public gatherings now extends to Aug. 31, issue a general meeting.
Organizers said on Twitter that the expansion will affect this year's show, but did not provide details, except that Gamescom 2020's prediction "will come true."
❗ Although not all information is currently known, a nationwide ban on major events until the end of August will also affect planning. # gamesocom2020. In addition: Games 2020 will definitely happen digitally! We'll provide more details soon. ❗
– games (@gamescom) April 15, 2020
At Gamescom 2019, journalist Geoff Keighley hosted a special event called Gamescom Opening Night Live, a two-hour press conference that showed the game was presented and updated on Surprising Death, Gears 5, Call of Duty: Modern Wars, and more. Keighley and Gamescom have announced plans bring back Opening Night Live this year in Aug. 24.
Gamescom joins major sports circles such as GDC and E3, both of which were canceled due to coronavirus-related health problems.