Gamescom, the largest gaming convention on the planet, which welcomed 275,000 attendees in 2011 to Cologne, Germany, will pre-sell tickets to avoid last year's shutdown drama. The Koelnmesse will only sell tickets for Saturday online this year, with no tickets available at the door for that day.

This is how it'll work: interested attendees need to register on the Gamescom website by March 17. In April, registered subscribers will receive an email with a code to purchase tickets early. The code will grant access to the Saturday tickets and tickets for any other public days ahead of the general public.

"The exclusive advance sales option will assist in better predicting visitor numbers and with other measures will help us optimize the admission situation especially on Saturday," said Gamescom project manager Tim Endres.

Last year's show got dangerously uncomfortable, as event organizers closed off entrances to the facility "temporarily" when the Koelnmesse hit its capacity of 62,000 people. Lines outside the complex were even worse, as ticket holders couldn't enter and crowds began amassing outside. These advance ticket sales are clearly a response to last year and will hopefully keep everyone safe.
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No. 4 gamescom 2012: advance ticket sales starts

Exclusive presale of admission tickets - only advance bookings for Saturday - registration by 17 March 2012

Preparations for gamescom 2012 from 15-19 August are already underway. Right at the start of the new year, Koelnmesse is announcing alterations to and the bringing forward of advance tickets sales. The changes affect tickets for the Saturday in particular, since most people prefer to visit on this day for travel reasons. Many visitors come long distances to Cologne just to attend on this day. To ensure that this visitor group in particular can plan ahead with certainty, Saturday tickets will now only be available for advance purchase and cannot be bought on the door. As part of an exclusive presale option, would-be visitors now have the option of reserving their ticket even before the start of official advance sales. This offer requires registration by 17 March 2012. "The exclusive advance sales option will assist in better predicting visitor numbers and with other measures will help us optimise the admission situation especially on Saturday", says Tim Endres, gamescom project manager.

Right at the start of preparations for gamescom 2012, Koelnmesse has already extended the available exhibition space to 140,000 square metres. Endres: "gamescom 2012 will again be the mega-highlight for interactive entertainment. The world's largest interactive playground, exciting premieres and another fantastic event experience are guaranteed. People wishing to experience it live should plan their travel and stay early on and avoid busy times."

How presale works:

In April all registered gamescom newsletter subscribers will receive a personal presale invitation
The presale invitation includes a personal exclusive code
The personalised exclusive code provides one-off access to the gamescom ticket shop
Recipients can then buy exclusive Saturday tickets and tickets for the other public days ahead of everyone else

Conditions & link:
All registered newsletter subscribers can take advantage of the presale option.

The deadline for registering is 17 March 2012.
To the registration form

Alternatively you can register for presale on our Facebook fan page.
For ticket prices see here

Official advance ticket sales will begin in May 2012.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.