Here in the states we have E3, PAX, and GDC. Take all three of those shows, role them into one giant German schnitzle and you get Gamescom. One of the biggest conventions on the planet for video games and something Europe thrives on. The convention used to be held in former Eastern Block city of Leipzig, but for the last few years is hosted in the west side of Germany’s city of Cologne. The show is massive and fans, business folks, major publishers, and yes even Blizzard attend in full force. So with Gamescom kicking off this week we thought it would make sense to go through the top five things to look for at Gamescom this summer.
5. Next Gen Software (The EVE /DUST Connection)
There is always the chance that Gamescom produces some type of major announcements for Next Gen hardware. I am not just talking about the consoles. I am talking about the tech that could impact the MMO space. With companies like Steam, Gakai, and OnLive always makings news, there is the chance when systems like these will come to a head with MMO players. EVE Online and their connection with DUST 514 in the EVE universe is a great example of this type of union. Games in the future will have these types of combinations going on all the time, across platforms, genres, and styles. If you have read the information about EVE and DUST and how the two games will interconnect, it makes you believe that there are inifinite possibilities in building an online world. Perhaps Gamescom will show us some future ideas for the second half of the decade.
4. Free To Play
This is something we all have to watch as MMO players. The reason is FTP is moving into our neighborhood on a rapid scale. The issue is that up until now, FTP games have consisted of big MMO titles that needed to rebrand themselves or imported games from Asia. Yet now, it seems like games are being fully developed with this pricing in mind from the ground up. Whether it is full on Free to Play or some kind of Hybrid pricing model games are being made differently. Perhaps this summer we will see the first offerings of FTP games that really ignite with players and become a huge success. I am not just talking about MOBAs I am talking about FTP MMOs that will really get players going. Perhaps there will be some amazing options coming from Gamescom this year.
3. NCSoft showing WildStar and Blade & Soul
This is big news for the company who is about to shake the MMO continent with Guild Wars 2. The fact that both of these titles will be at the show is very cool for fans. WildStar has gotten some great press since its announcement and people love the art style and world concepts, even if it's only slowly building steam. Also the characters and approach to classes remain very refreshing. Blade & Soul has stayed quiet on the NCSoft radar, but don’t let that fool you. The game has gotten some serious attention and continues to be in the back of gamer minds as something to look forward to in the coming years.
2. Blizzard’s Showcase
Don’t let the mysterious mega-giant fool you, Blizzard always comes to Gamescom ready to deliever with something. I am not by any means saying they will announce Titan this week, but if they do, we will all be surprised. However, Blizzard always has plans when they attend something. Potential Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm news, some Diablo3 announcements, or something in depth about Mists of Pandaria that we have not heard yet are all on the table of possibilities. Blizzard usually has something up their sleeve at these shows and hopefully we will get some good information due to the lack of BlizzCon this year.
1. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Square Enix has been working on the rebirth of Final Fantasy XIV for a while now. There is talk that we will see some game play at Gamescom this summer. If so this is an interesting take on a game that is really trying to reinvent itself for players. Square has a full Roadmap planned and milestones. We have seen screens and trailers but nothing concrete yet. This could be the story of the show with lots of new ideas going into the game to really turn it around.
So there are my Top 5 MMO Things to look out for at Gamescom this week. Enjoy large European crowds and amazing German food if you are going. We will all watch for news this week, just six hours later. What do you hope comes out of Germany this year? Leave us a thought below!