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'Security Measures Have Increased Over Time', Says Gamescom Boss Over Opening Night Crasher

JJ Rankin  |   Aug 23, 12:40 PM   |   6 min read

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Highlights

  • Gamescom security staff ready for unpredictable incidents like stage crashing, says Gamescom head Christian Baur

  • The convention's opening night stage was crashed by two invaders who tried to speak into the host's mic and promote their pages and ask about "GTA 6".

  • Baur broke down the platform's new Safer Space policy which makes it easier for attendees to report a violation or seek assistance if they feel unsafe.

 

Gamescom security this year seems prepped for incidents like the recent security breach carried out by a stage invader during the convention's Opening Night. Christian Baur, the head of the multi-day event, often considered the world's biggest gaming convention, confirmed that the security team approached the breach as planned and is ready to tackle unpredictabilities.

 

“Our security measures have increased over time and we’re trying to make the whole experience as safe as possible for everybody who attends,” Baur told a news portal following the incident. “[It’s not only about] people who are stage-crashing, we’ve also had issues with creators who were walking through the halls with their communities dragging along behind them, breaking things.

 

Read More: The Game Awards Date Announced At Gamescom Opening Night Live
 

Gamescom Security Approached Security Breach As Planned, Says Convention Boss

 

During the opening night showcase, following a Starfield musical performance, two men crashed the stage just as host Geoff Keighley began to introduce a segment. One of the stage crashers, in an Austin 3:16 shirt, quipped, "Bill Clinton wants to play GTA 6." This was a reference to a similar 2022 Gamescom incident when a fan randomly thanked Clinton as their 'Orthodox Rabbi' and hid behind a group of Elden Ring developers while they were accepting their Game of the Year Award.

 

 

As the crasher moved towards Keighley to speak into his mic, a second stage invader walked across the stage wearing a t-shirt with the names of their social media pages. The security staff for the show, who were reportedly positioned in the general seating area rushed onstage and escorted the men away. "Really disappointed. That's just so disappointing," Keighley was heard saying post-the-stage invasion, which was booed by the audiences. 

 

 

Baur reiterated that the security system in place is quite transparent about the rules that are put in place. “We’re very specific and very clear about ‘this is our playbook, if you want to come to Gamescom these are the rules and you have to play along, otherwise you can’t come, or you shouldn’t come, or you will be removed from the place’. We’re very transparent about that, and that’s not even concerning those high-risk situations like yesterday at Opening Night Live," he said.

 

“And I really must say that the security guys, they worked as planned and as intended. But it’s always trying to find the balance because we don’t want to build up barriers between the audience and the content, but at the same time we want to keep people safe," he added. The Gamescom head also spoke about the convention's Safer Space Policy which makes it easier for attendees to report incidents of disruption, intimidation, harassment or any other violation. 

 

 

"We want to give people the tools that let them report back if they notice something off, as soon as possible, to the right people so that we can act upon it," said Baur. “In the end, it’s always an iteration. We are as well-prepared as we can humanly be when it comes to a large event like this, and at the Cologne Messe they’re really experienced with that, they have a lot of these events.


 

German Vice Chancellor and Economics Minister Robert Habeck is scheduled to open Gamescom today and Baur says the security team is as ready as it can be to stick to protocol, in the face of problems.  “It’s unfortunate – what happened at Geoff’s show, the guy who did it actually did it on live TV in Germany before, asking for GTA 6. We are aware of people trying to do these things, and we are working under the assumption that it’s going to happen. Not if it’s going to happen, but that it is going to happen.”
 

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JJ Rankin

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JJ is a writer for the Gaming section at Gossip.GG and brings multiple years of experience covering the gaming beat.

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