Gamescom is one of the biggest gaming events in Europe, pulling in over 300,000 visitors in 2017, and 2018 is expected to be even bigger. Featuring highly anticipated games and hardware from the likes of Nintendo, Ubisoft, Activision, Microsoft and more, it gives gamers a chance to play games that aren’t out for a matter of months, or in some cases, even years.

Here’s everything you need to know about Gamescom 2018, from press conference information to what to expect from the big publishers at this year’s event.

Gamescom 2018 press conferences

While there were several big press conferences at Gamescom 2017, that’s not the case in 2018. Many of the biggest announcements were made at E3 2018, and for the majority of publishers, this will be a chance to let fans play the games announced two months prior.

There is a handful going ahead though, with Microsoft and Nvidia hosting events at this year's show.   

Microsoft Gamescom 2018 livestream details

While it’s not an official press conference, Microsoft is set to host a special Inside Xbox livestream from the Xbox stand at the show, and is due to take place on the first day of the show, 21 August 2018, at 3:30pm BST for those of us in the UK.

We’ve got a feeling that it’ll feature great indie game trailers from the company’s [email protected] Program, alongside new gameplay trailers from the likes of Forza Horizon 4, Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 and possibly even a hardware announcement. While we’re still some time away from the Xbox Two, sources claim that Microsoft is gearing up to reveal the Xbox Elite 2 controller during the show.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, you can find out how to watch the Xbox Gamescom 2018 live stream here

Nvidia Gamescom 2018 livestream details

While the event is now over, Nvidia took to the stage at Gamescom on 20 August 2018 and revealed the latest line of graphics cards, the RTX 20 series. The company claims it's the biggest revolution in GPUs for years, and it's not hard to see why; even the RTX 2070, the least powerful option, is several times more powerful than the GTX 1080Ti.

The main highlight of the new graphics cards is real-time ray tracing, allowing for more accurate simulations of lighting and shading. In terms of games, they should look more realistic than ever before - especially dark, gloomy games.

What to expect at Gamescom 2018

Microsoft

Ahead of release later this year, the main focus for Microsoft at E3 2018 will be on Forza Horizon 4. While we got to take a look at the game at E3 2018, the demo was fairly limited, and we hope that a more substantial demo of the game will be available to play at the European show.

We’re also hoping to see something new from Crackdown 3, whether it be a trailer during the Inside Xbox livestream or a new demo at the Xbox booth. Crackdown 3 was available to play at Gamescom last year, but the demo was incredibly limited. With the final release date set (we hope), it’d be good to see some of Crackdown’s crazy gunplay and destruction in action.

Oh, and we’re fairly sure that Microsoft will showcase the next major piece of DLC for Sea of Thieves – Forsaken Shores – ahead of release later this year, along with a new game mode coming to State of Decay 2.

Sony

Sony hasn’t really had much of a presence at Gamescom in recent years, and it doesn’t look like 2018 will be any different. While there will be a Sony stand at the show run by PlayStation Germany, there won’t be any huge announcements from Sony during the show. The company tends to save those for Paris Games Week in October instead.

We expect to see demos of Marvel’s Spider-Man available at the show, especially considering it has gone gold and is due to be released the week after the show. We’re also hopeful of a new Days Gone trailer, though we’re not holding our breath for anything The Last of Us: Part II-related.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft showcased an impressive array of games during E3 2018, and we imagine that it’ll also be the case at Gamescom, though most will likely be behind-closed-doors appointments for press.

In terms of public access, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be available to play on the show floor ahead of release later this year, just as Origins was in 2017. We also imagine that the public will finally get to spend some time with Ubi’s new toys-to-life IP, Starlink, along with new content from Rainbow Six Siege.

We’re hopeful that Ubisoft will provide demos for Skull & Bones and The Division 2, but this is unconfirmed for now.  

Activision

Unlike other publishers at Gamescom 2018, the majority of Activision’s titles are due for release this year, and thus, should offer more advanced demos than what you may find on offer for the likes of Skull & Bones.

Let’s start with the big one; Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It’s the main focus for Activision at Gamescom 2018 ahead of the November release, and we expect it to be playable on the show floor. It’d be the perfect time to showcase the game’s upcoming Blackout Battle Royale mode ahead of the September beta, too.

We’re also confident that the new Destiny 2 DLC will be available. Destiny 2: Forsaken features a new campaign, a new Raid and a brand-new team multiplayer mode called Gambit.

Last, but by no means least, we expect Activision to present the highly anticipated Spyro remaster to the public for the first time, though this is yet to be confirmed.

Bethesda

While many were hoping for Fallout 76 to be playable at Gamescom 2018 in some shape or form, that’s sadly not the case. That’s not to say Bethesda isn’t at the show in a big way this year though; the company has confirmed that you’ll be able to play several upcoming games at its stand in a few weeks’ time.

The main title on display at Bethesda’s stand is Rage 2, the post-apocalyptic FPS due for release in Spring 2019, alongside VR title Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot. The VR game takes place twenty years after the events of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and see’s players step into the shoes of a French Resistance hacker, hacking Nazi robots and causing chaos.

You’ll also be able to get your hands on The Elder Scrolls: Blades for the first time anywhere in Europe ahead of release on iOS and Android later this year.

Nintendo

Visitors at the show will be able to play Super Mario Party alongside the recently-revealed Diablo III Eternal Collection and a range of upcoming titles at the Nintendo stand, though if it's anything like the Super Mario Odyssey queue in 2017, you may be waiting for literally hours!

In other Gamescom news, Nintendo revealed brand new gameplay footage from Super Smash Bros Ultimate, showcasing King K. Rool gameplay and Dark Samus & Chrom gameplay. The company also revealed DAEMON X MACHINA, a new title set to come to the Nintendo Switch at some point in 2019. You can take a look at the teaser now, before a more in-depth look later this week. 

EA

Unlike with E3, EA usually has a massive presence at Gamescom, and it’s much the same in 2018. With highly anticipated EA games like Battlefield V and Anthem coming out soon, it’d be a good time for EA to get the hype train rolling.

We expect EA’s focus to be on FIFA 19, with Europe being one of the biggest markets for the annual football game. It’s likely that Battlefield V will be playable in some shape or form given that it’s due for release in a matter of months, and while it hasn’t been confirmed, we’re hopeful of a new Anthem demo following huge demand at E3 2018.

Gamescom 2018 Exhibitor List

While we’ve mentioned the biggest names at Gamescom 2018 above, there will be hundreds of companies showcasing their software and hardware during the game-focused event. While there are too many to list, here are a few to look out for:

  • 505 Games
  • Amazon
  • Bandai Namco
  • Blizzard
  • Capcom
  • CD Projekt RED
  • Epic Games
  • Frontier
  • Intel
  • Logitech
  • Nvidia
  • Razer
  • Sega
  • Square Enix
  • Techland
  • Warner Bros