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As one of the world’s largest gaming conventions, Gamecom draws hundreds of thousands of eager gamers to Cologne, Germany every year. Last year it boasted over 350,000 visitors from 38 counties over the course of the 5-day event. This year’s convention is shaping up to being even bigger with the Koelnmesse, the owner of the 3,000,000+ square-foot venue, recently releasing that over 70% of the planned space has already been booked. In addition, 89,000 square feet of new exhibition space has been booked exclusively by Electronic Arts (EA), freeing up a large amount of space for even more exhibitors this year. Some of the confirmed attendees include big names like Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Square Enix, and Ubisoft. Some smaller outfits like CCP Games, famous for their space combat MMO Eve Online, have also signed their name into this year’s exhibitor list. New and upcoming games are not the only things Gamescom represents; major hardware manufacturers like Micro Star International (MSI) and Corsair have in the past have major presences. Their typical show floor hardware showcases are common, but last year MSI showed it cared about its case modding community by carving out a wealth of space to host a live case modding competition and display amazing computer case artwork. Retailers were also well represented last year by having their own dedicated event hall for nothing but gaming merchandise sales. Electronic Arts is likely to bring a big act this year with Star Wars Battlefront II on the verge of release and their young Battlefield 1 game due to receive follow-on excitement for upcoming content. Microsoft is widely expected to also have a big presence this year with its Destiny franchise ready to spawn a second game, Destiny 2 which will finally be released on PC in addition to the Xbox One and PS4. Ubisoft will also stand to have a good presence with an upcoming addition to their Assassin’s Creed series after having taken the year off from releases in 2016. The new title, Assassins Creed: Origins is set in Ancient Egypt and will likely continue to showcase some of the new and existing features that keep the Assassin’s Creed series running. Learning from last year, I will be focusing more on scheduling coverage with particular developers. So far I have planned meetups with the Crowfall team of Actcraft and Travian Games, Frontier Developments, and Square Enix Europe. I am still awaiting back an answer from Electronic Arts and Ubisoft which I am eagerly awaiting a response on. Overall I am expecting another packed year as tickets for the weekend portion have already sold out. Just like last year, I will be avoiding the typical very long lines for gameplay testing lines and instead attempting to cover as much as possible over the four days of the public event. Obligatory frequent visits of the Twitch.tv booth are also planned. Finally, thanks to a new EU cell phone law, I will have a 100GB of contracted cell data to mobile stream with during the event, so be sure to check back here closer to the end of August to receive updates!