This year’s Gamescom will see increased security measures, organizers announced today, in response to a number of violent incidents throughout Germany and the rest of Europe. Organizers are banning all imitation weapons and asking attendees — including press and exhibitors — to leave bags and backpacks at home.
All imitation weapons and "weapon-like elements" on costumes are not permitted at Gamescom 2016, organizers said in an email. Organizers also urged Gamescom attendees not to wear weapons or weapon-like elements while in Cologne "in consideration for the inhabitants and visitors of the city."
While not outright banning bags and backpacks, Gamescom organizers say attendees should leave items of all kinds at home "that they don’t urgently need for their visit." The group says to expect longer wait times due to bag checks that will be carried out at the entrance to the show.
Organizers say the same security guidelines will apply to GDC Europe, which runs prior to the show in the same venue, the Koelnmesse.
Gamescom organizers don’t specifically mention what incidents led to the decision to implement stricter security at this year’s show, which is open to the public, but a recent mass shooting in Munich is likely one of the causes. In July, an 18-year-old man opened fire in a busy shopping district, killing nine and injuring 16 others before killing himself.
Gamescom 2016 runs Aug. 17-21. Last year’s show drew about 345,000 attendees.