With COVID-19 social distancing orders and travel restrictions in place, several summer game expos and festivals have been cancelled much like their spring counterparts. With E3, Gamescom, and Summer GDC being cancelled or restricted to online only programming, there’s a pretty large void in games news for summer 2020. Which is where Geoff Keighley and The Game Awards are stepping in, to provide the Summer Game Fest.
Keighley’s new “industry-wide celebration of video games” will span from May to August and was announced earlier today. The festival will include breaking news announcements, in-game events, and free playable content from various game publishers over the span of several months. Bethesda, Blizzard, CD Projekt Red, EA, Microsoft, Riot Games, Sony, and Square Enix are already confirmed for the Summer Game Fest lineup.
As Keighley told GamesIndustry.Biz, “…I think it’s an old school view: that there’s one moment in time for 90 minutes, and then we shut the lights off and we’ll see you next year. Now it’s more like, ‘We’ve got a big game coming out and we’re going to do a day-long showcase of it.’… It’s not a press event, but it’s still something that people cover. And yes, it’s hard to maintain momentum for that long and I don’t want people to think this is a tightly scheduled event. But it’s like a concert venue. There are going to be dark days, and there are going to be big days. The key is that it’s going to be curated in a way where when things happen, they’re going to matter.“
The various events of Summer Game Fest will stream on all major platforms like Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Facebook, and Twitter. Specific event details will be announced by publishers directly, though Xbox and Steam will also offer demos and trials of various games during the event. The Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition is currently set to offer free games from June 9-14, 2020.
“In these uncertain and challenging times, it’s more important than ever that video games serve as a common and virtual connection point between us all,” Keighley said in a prepared statement. “SGF is an organizing principle that promises fans a whole season of video game news and other surprises from the comfort of home.”