Gamescom is an annual gaming show that was first held during August 2009 in Cologne, Germany. It is the European equivalent of E3 in Los Angeles and Tokyo Game Show in Japan. It is used by many video game developers to show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware.
2009: Trailer premiere
ArenaNet was part of NCsoft's booth, represented by Martin Kerstein, the German Community Manager, as well as Daniel Dociu and Jeff Grubb. The company made daily Guild Wars 2 teasers leading up to the event on the Guild Wars 2 Facebook and Twitter pages, consisting primarily of concept art.
A teaser video featuring Martin Kerstein was made available on YouTube. In the background, "Tyria.... Die Drachen waren schon immer hier" ("Tyria... the dragons have always been here" in German), could be heard; later it was announced that a Guild Wars 2 trailer would preimiere on the 20th; fans were told to meet on that day at 12:00 (UTC+2) at the NCsoft booth hall 9 A011. An image with Martin and others wearing Guild Wars 2 t-shirts was also shown. After this first Guild Wars 2 trailer was premiered there followed a short Q&A section between the attendees and Arena Net's team.
2010: Demo premiere
Between August 18 and 22, 2010, ArenaNet was again part of NCsoft's booth. ArenaNet was represented by Martin Kerstein, Jeff Grubb, Colin Johanson and Eric Flannum. The event featured the first playable demo of Guild Wars 2, with 45 demo stations, all of which had the same content: players could choose to begin as a level 1 human character and experience the personal story plus a variety of events, or to play as a level 47 charr and experiment with high-level skills. The human demo showed parts of Divinity's Reach, Shaemoor, and centaur attacks. The charr demo included a fight against the Shatterer.
Other activities were Q&A panels with the ArenaNet staff, book signings and a cosplay contest. Guild Wars 2 also won the Gamescom Best Online Game Award.
This event took place between August 17 and 21, 2011. It featured a new demo which allowed players to experience all five playable races with the seven revealed professions. The available zones of the demo included the starter zones of charr, human and norn. In Sparkfly Fen, a new mid-level area, the asura and sylvari were playable for the first time; the area also showcased underwater combat and a fight against Tequatl the Sunless. Structured PvP and more extensive character creation options made their debut in this demo.