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Gamescom Latam launching in 2024, merging with BIG Festival

The organisers of the world’s largest games event, Gamescom, are starting a new event for the Latin America markets, building on the foundations already established with the popular BIG Festival in Brazil.

The Gamescom team is working with the BIG organisers and merging that Festival into Gamescom Latam, the third event under the global brand following the launch of Gamescom Asia in 2021.

The first iteration will run from June 26 to 30, 2024 in São Paulo, Brazil, and is the product of a partnership between Gamecom organiser Koelnmesse, German trade body Game, BIG Festival, and pop culture and events firm Omelete Company.

Speaking to, Game managing director Felix Falk said the ongoing success of Gamescom shows that the industry needs events “where the entire ecosystem comes together,” including developers, publishers, investors and service providers. And while Gamescom in Europe already reaches hundreds of thousands of people when it comes to Cologne, and millions more online, Falk says a local presence is necessary for such events to be a success.

“Although Gamescom is already fully digital and attracts millions of fans worldwide, nothing beats the festival atmosphere on site,” he says. “That’s why we want to expand this successful idea to other continents and communities by establishing events like Gamescom Asia and Gamescom Latam.

“Gamescom’s strong global reputation will help in achieving this objective, especially with fantastic partners like BIG Festival and Omelete Company. We’re excited to make Gamescom Latam together with our partners, the industry and the fans the biggest video game event in the Latam region.”

BIG Festival founder and executive director Gustavo Steinberg says that his own event will continue to live on as part of Gamescom Latam, primarily as the stage for the indie games competition and the awards ceremony. It will also continue to show off a selection of games from around the world, as well as the best talent from the region.

“Latam has a lot of great companies and very talented developers which are still disconnected from the rest of the world,” says Steinberg. “We don’t really have local publishers and investors, so the idea of a partnership with a biz dev powerhouse such as Gamescom is a win-win.

“We will connect all this talent to all the great publishers looking for cool new ideas and projects. And, of course, we are also one of the top markets for consumers in the world – and the fastest growing one for a few years.”

In addition to BIG Festival and the rest of Gamescom Latam around it, the event will include an industry meeting point facilitating networking between industry progressions. There are even plans to transform São Paulo into “the city of games” for the duration of the event.

The Gamescom team at Koelnmesse already have a proven track record with its Cologne event, the biggest video games event on the calendar, but it has also proven it can establish more regional festivals with Gamescom Asia.

Originally due to launch in 2020, this Singapore-hosted event debuted digitally in 2021 before finally hosting a physical edition last year. In October, more than 34,000 people attended Gamescom Asia 2023. Given than BIG Festival was already attracting 50,000 people each year, the potential for Gamescom Latam is clear.

“Launching a new event in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic was a huge challenge for the Gamescom Asia team, but they did great,” says Koelnmesse president and CEO Gerald Böse. “This year was a great success on our way to reaching the entire games ecosystem in South East Asia.

“As we at Koelnmesse have learned through successfully implementing dozens of international satellites, it’s important that any event must be adapted to the needs of the community and industry in the region.”

“Absolutely,” Falk agrees. “Simply copying Gamescom from Cologne one-to-one does not work. Every regional games ecosystem is different. That’s why local partners are so important for success. With the Brazilian Koelnmesse subsidiary, the BIG Festival and the Omelete Company, we have exactly the right partners at our side in Brazil right from the start.”

One of Gamescom’s strongest qualities is its international attendance. In August 2023, over 320,000 people from over 100 countries went to the Cologne convention, including 1,227 exhibitors from 63 countries and 31,000 trade visitors, at least half of which were from outside Germany.

BIG Festival also fares well in this area, with Steinberg telling telling us that in addition to the 483 Brazilian companies in attendance this year, there were 84 from North America, 70 from other Latan America markets, 57 from Europe, 25 from Asia, four from the Middle East, and two from Africa.

And Steinberg is confident this Gamescom partnership will grow this even further.

“We definitely expect a bigger international presence both at the B2B and the B2C, with more studios, and visitors from neighboring countries, on top of more publishers and investor from all over the world,” he says.

“We are strategically located in the end of the first semester, when E3 used to happen, so we can be a great platform for the release of new titles from all over the world, too.”

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