Expect two hours of 'upcoming games' at Gamescom 2021’s Opening Night Live

Gamescom 2021
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The next big event in the gaming calendar, Gamescom 2021, is drawing closer and now the date and start time for its Opening Night Live showcase has been confirmed.

Presenter Geoff Keighley announced the news via Twitter, confirming that the show will take place on Wednesday August 25, with a start time of 11am PT/ 2pm ET/ 7pm BST. 

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Running over two hours, Keighley promised that the third annual Opening Night Live showcase will give us “a new look at this holiday’s biggest upcoming video games and what lies beyond.” 

There's no mention of a pre-show in the tweet, which is somewhat surprising as 2020's Opening Night Live Stream had a half-hour long pre-show before the main event for additional reveals. However, with three weeks still remaining until the show there's still time for a further announcement.

According to Keighley, the show will be “streaming and co-streaming everywhere”, so expect to be able to find it on all major platforms including Twitch, Facebook and YouTube either as a standard show or co-streamed by creators from around the world. 

What to expect?

Keighley didn’t give any other indication as to what we can expect from the show but based on last year’s Opening Night Live (opens in new tab), a jam-packed mix of trailers, announcements and updates on highly-anticipated in-development games feels like a safe bet. 

As for who will be announcing things, there are plenty of big names involved in this year’s show including EA, Bethesda and Xbox, in addition to a host of indie partners. 

Sony and Nintendo are notably absent from this year’s list of partners (opens in new tab) which makes it look like they won't be in attendance, though fans will no doubt be hoping either company might opt to host their own State of Play or Direct streams around the time of the event.

Just like Gamescom 2020, this year’s show is going to be an entirely online affair that’s free for everyone to attend. Originally slated to be a hybrid event taking place both on-site in Cologne and online around the world, Gamescom 2021 shifted to all-digital in May of this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leaving “too many companies ... unable to participate in physical events this year due to the still difficult development.” 

After Opening Night Live kicks things off, the show will run across three days, from August 25 to August 27. As part of an attempt to engage at-home attendees, the show will also involve something called gamescom epix which promises to allow attendees to “interact with gamescom 2021 content and partners via fun, interactive quests throughout the entire gamescom cosmos even before gamescom week begins, and collect points in order to snag unique prizes.”

Although we still don’t know exactly which games will be making an appearance at Opening Night Live, two hours is a long time and there are enough big names confirmed as partners in the show to suggest that it’ll be worth watching. 

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.