Gamescom 2023 Success: Effective Industry Strategies

Kelsy Medeiros

Published on 31/08/2023

If you work with games, you already know what this event can offer to the industry. You worked endless hours on end and made sure to practice for that big presentation. You even picked out your clothes the night before the event and scheduled your day to be more organized

On the morning of, you wake up with butterflies in your stomach and nerves that make it hard to put a tie on properly. 

You at least show up on time, with a coffee in your hands, as you take a deep breath to look up at the building and realize this is Gamescom, one of the biggest trade shows for the video game industry.

Did all of the above sound familiar to you? Because Gamescom feels exactly like the most important job interview of your life. You are not there to present what you offer to your target audience and sell yourself to the video game industry.

From gamers to developers, publishers to investors, Gamescom has it all. So, it's essential to take every bit of information to heart and to sell yourself to the best of your ability while in Germany, and that's precisely what we, GameRebellion, did at Gamescom 2023.

We knew since the beginning that GameRebellion had to come to the event with a mission that should be clear to everybody. We had a pitch and a story to introduce us to the market, and our team was ready to talk to everybody who passed by at our booth.

We got to chat with dozens of developers. Some were independent, while others were under significant publishers. We sat down with publishers, investors, marketers and even some gamers!

It was amazing to see the whole industry together and, by talking to them, better understand their needs and know we're on the right track. When attending trade shows, realizing why they are essential to participating is a significant asset to any product or service.

Gamescom is the trade show for all studios looking at visibility, either B2B or B2C. This event is a "must" for all gaming industry developers, studios, publishers and marketers because of the opportunities the show presents for the game brand's global exposure.

It connects the whole industry in one place and levels the playing field for independent developers, players, feedback engagement, partnerships, free press and media advertisement in showcasing gameplay announcements.

Essential Tips for Success with Publishers

Going to that kind of event requires a budget that some of you might still need. Still, if you're under the lucky kids getting to travel the world to showcase your masterpiece, well, you want to read the points we've identified. By talking to fellow industry professionals over there, we had some insights that were an actual opening eyes experience, and we'd like to share them with you.

Defining a clear goal before talking to publishers is fundamental. Many studios go to trade shows looking for publishers for their games. Still, they often need to prepare to pitch their ideas and lose the opportunity. So here's a tip for all the studios looking at attending the following events of the industry: 

Before talking to publishers, you must understand your game and have a clear goal. There are some questions you can answer before meeting up with key people:

  • What is your goal for attending trade shows? (Why are you investing such a budget on this?)
  • What is the goal you have for your game? (Where do you want to arrive with your game?)
  • What is your game about? (It is good to add details about your game, such as genre and gameplay mechanics.)
  • What are you looking for as a publisher? (What are your expectations for your publisher? Which are the ones that best fit your game?)
  • How can the publisher help you to achieve your goals? (What can they do to help you achieve your goals?)

You can reply to those questions by compiling a compelling story about your project, which gives your audience an idea about your objectives and shows a sense of passion and commitment to opportunities.

Publishers will likely work with you if they see you're organized, committed and accountable. If you show them you have clear goals and vision for the project, they'll take you seriously. Chances are, a passionate project with a lot of focus on creativity and formality from both the developer and its creation will grab opportunities around the market.

Think of this opportunity as going to a job interview; you must know what to say about yourself and your background. You should also research and learn details about the company you're applying for. We'll come back with more content about how to approach publishers by providing more insight on preparing and introducing yourself for these meetings.

Maximizing Visibility for Indie Studios at Global Gaming Events

If you're a small studio, the best option is in the indie arena. However, it usually doesn't offer access to the business area, which can be an obstacle to your networking.

It happened to us when we had some meetings booked, but the studios scrambled to get to the business area. We know the costs are high, but getting a pass that allows free access to the different areas of the event is essential. Ensure your booth is in the right area to attract your biggest customers. A quick tip if you are still determining whether you are in the right place is to sign up to go with your country's delegation. 

Luckily, in Canada, we have the Canadian Delegation and the Quebec Delegation. Both have constant missions to gaming trade shows worldwide, and the visibility you get is enormous. Every year, we count on the support of Invest Quebec | Investissement Québec International, which is well-positioned and provides a great spot to exchange with different companies, delegations, and individuals.

That's it for today! We'll soon bring more trade show content, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, why not sign up for our Community on Discord? We're waiting for you there!