Despite Habeck’s cancellation – many politicians are stepping in

Robert Habeck's video message for gamescom 2022.

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Of: Omer Kayali

Gamescom 2022 has started and many politicians are also visiting the games fair – with an important message.

Cologne – Gamescom has also been a popular event among politicians for years. In 2017, even German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally came by and “marveled” at the “state-of-the-art” graphics of Minecraft. After a two-year Corona break, Gamescom 2022 will take place again and politicians will also visit the fair this year.

Gamescom 2022: The world’s largest video game fair receives a high attendance

event Gamescom
location Cologne
First exhibition 2009, previously as Games Convention in Leipzig
Visitors (2019) 373,000
Exhibitor 250
event period August 24, 2022 to August 28, 2022

These include Hendrik Wüst (CDU, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia), Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker, Claudia Roth (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Minister of State and Commissioner for Culture and Media) or Kevin Kühnert (SPD, Secretary General).

The CDU politician Axel Voss, who fell out of favor with gamers a few years ago, will also be present. He had made himself very unpopular with pushing Article 13 of the EU copyright reform – keyword “upload filter”. According to the organizers of Koelnmesse, a total of over 170 politicians will be present.

Unfortunately, one of the politicians announced in advance had to cancel. Federal Minister of Economics and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck cannot be on site due to the current situation with energy supply problems. However, he delivered a video message to visitors. In it he explained that Germany as a games location also needed political support. In addition, Michael Kellner, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, is stepping in to represent Robert Habeck.

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Robert Habeck would like to strengthen the games industry in Germany

The political opening of Gamescom 2022 took place in Koelnmesse’s Konrad-Adenauer-Saal. In this context, the video message was transmitted by Robert Habeck. Although he gave the gaming fair the cold shoulder, the 52-year-old has great ambitions for Germany as a games location. In his video message, he explains that the games industry is an important pillar for the German economy, but must be further promoted:

“It’s good that gamescom is opening its doors again after a two-year break. The economy and ‘games’ are closely linked, be it in start-up funding, location marketing or the recruitment of skilled workers. Our goal is to strengthen the creativity and innovative power of this exciting future industry and to further increase the added value in our attractive games location Germany.”

Robert Habeck cannot be present during Gamescom 2022, but he sent a video message. © gamescom/Koelnmesse image database

Felix Falk, Managing Director of the game Association of the German games industry, praised the great interest shown by politicians in Gamescom and the plan to strengthen Germany as a games location. However, it is a long-term endeavor. Compared to other locations such as Canada or Great Britain, the Federal Republic is still lagging behind and further steps are needed. “[…] our race to catch up is not a sprint but a marathon. That is why the subsidies must not be reduced now, as is currently proposed in the government draft, but must instead be increased as needed so that we can become more competitive.” according to Felix Falk.

The full political opening of Gamescom 2022 is here available as a video on Twitch on demand (it starts at minute 15:38). The event will take place from August 24th to 28th. If you can’t be there, you can follow the live streams for Gamescom 2022.