World's Biggest Video Game Show Locked Down Over Crushing CrowdsS

Gamescom, the biggest video game show in the world, just got too big.

Saturday morning the convention had to temporarily stop letting people in after the massive Cologne's Koelnmesse, the fourth largest convention center in the world, neared the show's 62,000 person capacity.

A Gamescom official told Kotaku that the center started regulating the show's two main entrances about 11:30 a.m. local time, and continued to do so for about three hours. The official, who asked to not be named as a matter of policy, said the show waited for people to leave before letting more in.

"We decided to close down the entrances when we saw we were approaching the center's capacity," the spokesperson said. Local media were alerted to the issue so they could tell those still heading toward Gamescom to wait until after 2 p.m. to come to the show.

During the wait, the spokesperson said, the center tried to set up entertainment outside the main, north, entrance and provided free drinks and a cleared areas for people to sit.

The spokesperson said that there was never any danger and that there have been no reports of injuries. This is the first time in the show's three-year history that they have had to start regulating attendance. The show was first held in 2002 in Leipzig, Germany. During a fractious 2009 move to Cologne, it was renamed Gamescom from Gamescon

Currently the show doesn't use all of the center's space. According to the official website for the Koelnmesse, the center is 2.8 million square feet and has an additional 500,000 square feet of outside space. Gamescom, which currently uses 1.3 million square feet of the center, plans to reevaluate how entry into the show works and how much space they might use in the future.

Those inside the show didn't notice much of a difference in the size of the crowds. Kotaku has been attending Gamescom since before its move from Leipzig to Cologne and crowds Saturday morning did appear to be slightly bigger than usual, making it harder to move through the show's four halls and outdoor areas.

Above pic: The crowds awaiting entrance into Gamescom. Picture by Nicholas Tonks.


You can contact Brian Crecente, the author of this post, at brian@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.

World's Biggest Video Game Show Locked Down Over Crushing CrowdsS


Photo inside the convention center Saturday from the official Gamescom Flickr.


The crowds waiting to get inside. Video by Deejaydizze


The crowds waiting to get inside. Video by Deejaydizze


Entering Gamescom through the south entrance. Video by Nicholas Tonks.