After the video-game industry’s major E3 event was nixed because of the coronavirus crisis, a new multi-month event has stepped forward to provide an outlet for news, demos and free playable content.
The Summer Game Fest is a four-month series of global events to highlight video games. The season will run from May-August 2020 and feature updates from the following game publishers and platforms: 2K, Activision Publishing, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie, CD Projekt Red, Digital Extremes, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Xbox, Private Division, Riot Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Steam, Square Enix and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
The virtual event is the brainchild of industry veteran Geoff Keighley, the creator of the Game Awards who had attended every E3 since the first one in 1995. But even before E3 nixed the plans because of the coronavirus outbreak, he had announced he would not participate in this year’s show because, he opined, in-person events don’t serve fans or game publishers as well as an online event could.
“When you think about it, the idea of consumers waiting in line to play a game at a booth is antiquated, especially with digital distribution,” Keighley told Variety.
Keighley commented, “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. SGF is an organizing principle that promises fans a whole season of video game news and other surprises from the comfort of home.”
For the Summer Game Fest, specific event details will be shared by each game publisher, with additional publishers set to be announced in the coming weeks. As part of the event series, game platforms including Steam and Xbox will offer fans access to playable, limited-time demonstrations and trials of select game content. The Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition will run June 9-14, with other platform dates to be announced.
Programming that is a part of Summer Game Fest will be distributed across all major streaming platforms, including publisher owned and operated channels on Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube.
Keighley will host special pre- and post-shows for flagship publisher events and partner with iam8bit to produce a showcase highlighting upcoming games. In addition, on Aug. 24, Keighley will host and produce “Gamescom: Opening Night Live,” which he’s billed as a finale to the SGF season.
More info on the series will be available at summergamefest.com. Watch the video announcement for the Summer Game Fest: