:bsz international. The gamescom took place in Cologne from August 22 to August 26 and offered space for console-, mobile-, online-, PC-gaming, virtual reality and e-sports. 

This year, the gamescom opened with more space, around 200.000 square kilometers, with over 900 exhibitors from 54 countries and a larger and more international visitor count than the years before: 350.000 people from over 106 countries, which makes it the biggest computer games fair in the world for a private audience. The opening ceremony was lead by chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), who emphasised the social and economic influence of digital games. They are cultural assets, fuel for innovation and an economic factor of highest importance. She called the industry a “strong column of the German ecomony”. This tribute from “top-level-politics” has boosted the perception of the exhibition, as this was an “accolade for the gamescom and the whole branch”, underlines Felix Falk, manager of the inter-trade organization BIU (Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware). 

About online trading card video games

Digital card games are becoming more and more popular, which is why the developers must release new content. But what can be implemented other than new cards? The games “Hearthstone” (HS), Blizzard’s own and famous trading card game (TCG), and “Gwent”, the TCG known from Andrzej Sapkowski’s “The Witcher” novels and “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”, tried something new this time. PvP (Player versus Player) and Solo PvE (Player versus Environment) are already implemented in HS. But ever since Blizzard canceled its physical “World of Warcraft TCG” the players wished for raids and Blizzard tried to fulfill their wish this year with the first “raid boss” (for the time being gamescom exclusive). The first boss – Arthas, the Lichking – does not only start with a humongous amount of 1.000.000 life points, but also an earthshattering deck. But do not worry, you do not have to slay him on your own, your goal is to only tick away his health, as all the partaking players’ damage is accumulated. This is a promotion for Fireside-Gatherings in general, little events where you can meet with players in real life and play a few rounds of HS. 

Finally, something for solo players in “Gwent”. “Thronebreaker”, which is made by the developers of “The Witcher”, the Polish developer CD Projekt Red, will come out in late 2017. The costs of the downloadable content (DLC) are still unknown. Throughout the 10-hour campaign, players will explore new and never-before-seen parts of the “The Witcher” world, while accompanying queen Meve. Players will embark on a variety of “thought-provoking” quests, gather resources as well as engage in custom-made story battles and use campaign exclusive solo cards and mechanics. Thereby, you will encounter many dialogues, which are all voiced, and make decisions that will influence the story.       

:Gianluca Cultraro