Political guests of honour open gamescom 2021
Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. saw the official kick-off: gamescom 2021 was opened by the political guests of honour. The coronavirus pandemic means that this year’s gamescom is being held entirely online, as was last year’s. The official political opening ceremony was also live-streamed. The show lasted around half an hour and was presented from the studio by TV host Katrin Neumann. Ms Neumann spoke to Felix Falk, the Managing Director of game – the German Games Industry Association, which is a joint organiser of gamescom, in between the welcome addresses from the political guests of honour. These included Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure; Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitalisation; Armin Laschet, Minister-President of the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia; as well as Henriette Reker, the Mayor of Cologne and Chairwoman of the Koelnmesse Supervisory Board, and COO of Koelnmesse Oliver Frese. In their welcome addresses, the political guests of honour embraced this year’s motto of ‘Games: The New Normal’ as they described the huge potential of games for Germany and explained the need to leverage this even further in future. Despite the extensive online programme of gamescom, the hope was expressed that next year could again be celebrated in Cologne with hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The video of the gamescom 2021 political opening ceremony can be watched on demand on the content hub ‘gamescom now’: now.gamescom.global
Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: ‘As the world’s biggest games event, gamescom is a valuable showcase. We want to build on that and make up lost ground in future as a development location on the international stage. Last year, at this very place, I gave the green light for the second phase of our games funding programme. Since then, the German government has provided millions of euros to support development studios in the games industry. That’s a real breakthrough. As things stand today, funding of 40 million euros has been approved – and we’re looking forward to receiving more applications. As well as the financial aspect, we have also overhauled our strategy and pooled the expertise to form a dedicated games unit within our Ministry. I am a firm believer that we can benefit from the innovative power of the games industry in many areas – be that the education sector, industry and science or simply in our leisure time.’
Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitalisation within the federal government: ‘The motto of gamescom 2021 sums it up: games are the new normal. They have helped us stay in touch with friends and family during the coronavirus phase. Thank goodness we had games during this period! But games aren’t just the new normal as an entertainment medium, but also in the business, medical and education sectors. For example, increasing numbers of companies are “gamifying” their products– from fitness apps through cars up to videoconferencing tools. The deployment of games in education is particularly exciting: the motivation to play has a direct effect on learning success, not only for children, but also in further education and professional development. Games thus harbour immense innovative power that is demonstrated not least by the digital gamescom itself, and we need to exploit this potential even more rigorously. And that’s why we want to give the games sector in Germany even more support to become one of the best locations in the world. With the new games strategy, we have created an excellent basis for the coming years.’
Armin Laschet, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia: ‘gamescom is a shining example of the strong social component of computer and video games, which has helped many people around the world through the coronavirus pandemic. This form of community is a fundamental building block of our society. The games industry also has enormous economic and social potential – both in the classical development of games and also beyond. The best example of this is in the field of digital education: using fun as a way of learning is part of human nature, which is why we need to be better at exploiting the available opportunities and not be afraid of blazing new trails. Here, too, the games industry will play an important role in future. Because of this huge potential, we need to keep working to improve the framework conditions for the games industry. For that reason, in North Rhine-Westphalia we have set ourselves the goal of wanting to become Germany’s top location for computer and video games some years ago. We also need this clear objective at national level in Germany so we can be the best among the international competition.’
Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – the German Games Industry Association, the joint organiser of gamescom, says: ‘gamescom is finally getting started with days full of announcements, news and shows that the fans are eagerly awaiting. Along with our partners, we are creating an event where millions of players around the world will again be able to celebrate the best games out there. However, at the same time, with the German parliamentary elections on the horizon, we don’t just want to talk about games at this gamescom, but also about what is the right games and digital policy for Germany. For that reason, I am especially pleased that we will be welcoming numerous top politicians not only during the political opening ceremony, but also at the Debatt(l)e Royale on Friday. Our intention with such formats is to give the younger generation above all an adequate opportunity to form an opinion, and to send out a clear message: go out and vote!’
Henriette Reker, mayor of the City of Cologne and chairwoman of the supervisory board of Koelnmesse: ‘I am really enthusiastic about what the entire Koelnmesse, the gamescom team, the association game and all partners created together for the second time in a row. This is exactly the innovative spirit and courage we need to move forward as a society in these challenging times. At the same time, I can hardly wait to see the numerous gamers back in town. First, because they always bring a very special flair with them and the whole city is infected by their enthusiasm. Second, because Cologne benefits from gamescom and its fans on many levels: Gastronomy, hotels and retail are just a few of the sectors that get an enormous boost during trade fair times.’
Oliver Frese, COO of Koelnmesse: ‘For the second year in a row, gamescom 2021 will take place purely digitally. But of course we have not been idle since last year and have made huge progress with gamescom 2021 and its digital offerings! Whether it’s our shows, our content hub gamescom now, or community activities like gamescom EPIX – everywhere we’ve taken advantage of the experiences of the last year and a half and further improved our program. Because our objective is clear: We want to be in pole position not only in the trade fair business in general, but also with regard to digital events in the future!’
Mr Green Launches in Germany on 888’s Proprietary Technology Platform
888 Holdings plc (LSE: 888), one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies with internationally renowned brands including 888, William Hill, Mr Green and SI Sportsbook, is pleased to announce the launch of Mr Green, its award-winning online gaming brand, in Germany.
Germany is one of 888’s strategic growth markets and the group sees an opportunity to grow rapidly and build a strong market position with its customer-focused, best-in-class products and brands. In early-2023 the group was delighted to be granted its official gaming license in Germany and has moved quickly to launch its products on a locally regulated basis.
The launch of Mr Green in Germany represents the first time that the Mr Green brand is available on the 888 proprietary technology platform. The launch delivers product and content leadership through the group’s in-house technology combined with the strong existing brand awareness of Mr Green in Germany to create a unique, differentiated and feature-rich product for players in the market.
“Mr Green will be the group’s spearhead brand in the German market alongside our 888 brands,” the 888 and William Hill Vice-President Head of Poker and Rest of World Managing Director, Amit Berkovich, said. “Its launch is a great example of what focus, collaboration and dedication can deliver. We’ve been live since late March, thanks to the existing 888 platform in Germany and the powerful collaboration of all teams across the business who have enabled a totally new set-up in record time.
“We are excited to introduce thousands more players in the market to our enhanced offer and look forward to bringing other Mr Green markets onto our single technology platform in the coming months.”
CT Interactive’s 10 New Games and Hot Luck Jackpot Certified for the Czech Republic
CT Interactive continues to increase its market share in the Czech Republic. The company was granted with a certificate for a package of 10 more games and the Hot Luck Jackpot.
“We are very excited about our next step in the Czech market which we value very much. We see a lot of potential in this market and this is why we are going to provide to all of the local operators we work with more of our exciting content,” Milena Tsankarska, Business Development EMEA at CT Interactive, said.
The list of certified games consists of the most popular names such as Bavarian Forest, Big Joker, Brilliants on Fire, Dark Woods, Fortune Pig, Fruity Hot, Hot 7 ‘s X2, Mystic Moon, Pick the Pig and The Power of Ankh. The portfolio for the Czech market contains also Hot Luck Jackpot.
“The certified content contains some of our best-selling games and it is ready for launch with the operators,” Ivan Zoumpalov, Business Development Manager at CT Interactive for the Czech Republic market, said.
Endorphina Enters into Partnership with ForbesCasino.cz
Endorphina has partnered with ForbesCasino.cz to bring its portfolio of certified games to Czech players.
Zdenek Llosa, partnership manager at Endorphina, stated that kicking off the year by entering new markets is always a treat and its games have just landed in the Czech Republic.
“We are delighted to have agreed on a promising partnership with the well-established forbescasino.cz. Our full portfolio of certified games for the Czech Republic includes top performers like Lucky Streak 3 and 2022 Hit Slot, which will be available for Czech players to enjoy and experience a new wave of quality and entertaining games. We are looking forward to seeing how our games will be received in the market,” he said.
“The entry of the brand (global game manufacturer Endorphina through our online casino is a great event for all online gaming lovers. Every visitor to our platform will greatly benefit from the cooperation between the two companies,” Petr Zemba, VIP manager of ForbesCasino.cz, said.
“We want to present all the games one by one in an online stream with commentary. We will also bring reviews, and there will be a competition or tournament. We have high expectations, and we believe that the whole market will like the games,” he added.
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