The Gamescom is easily one of the biggest gaming events in the world, second only to the Asia Game Show.
Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, will appear at Gamescom 2017 in August to open the show, convention organizer Koelnmesse and the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (BIU) announced today in a joint statement. Last year, 345,000 visitors were hosted within its halls, making it the largest games event in the world, even if E3 holds the crown the most reveals. Ever since its conception back in 2009, they never had someone like the German Chancellor over at the event.
Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin on Wednesday and discussed the broad topic of the future of the European Union, but for Sipilä the main item on the agenda was solidifying EU's defence policy.
This is the first time a high-level politician has opened the European trade and fan event, showing a value and commitment from the German government towards the games industry. Gerald Böse, president and CEO of the Koelnmesse, said in a press release.
Four years after Merkel's declaration, it has emerged that Germany's foreign intelligence agency, BND, spied on the White House and American companies for years, according to a report seen by German newspaper Der Spiegel.
By comparison, E3 usually has only 50,000 attendees (though this year it was boosted by public attendance to 68,000) - Gamescom is five times as busy.
"The visit of Dr. Merkel underlines the importance of the games industry for the cultural, digital and business location of Germany", said Felix Falk, managing director of BIU.