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Summer Game Fest will redraw the map for future gaming cons

We’ve seen the gaming industry undergo many changes due to COVID-19. Despite many developments — from cancellations to surges in sales and participants — Summer Game Fest is shaping up to become a landmark event in the industry. 

Companies like 2K, CD Projekt, Bungie, Bethesda, EA and many others have come together as phase one of the festival. These companies will unveil playable demos and new developments on current and future projects. There will also be more public-oriented content like panels and developer interviews.

Game Awards creator Geoff Keighley is the brains behind the event. The announcement came from Keighley himself on Twitter at the beginning of May.

A few days? Try a few months.

The festival will consist of the various companies hosting their own events all bound together under the Summer Game Fest banner. Unlike conventions similar to E3, SGF will run for four months from May to August and is entirely online. There will be events hosted by Keighley himself sprinkled into the mix. And on Aug. 24 we have the big finale with Gamescom: Opening Night Live. Here is the full listing of participating companies for phase one:

Summer Game Fest lineup

The virtual festival is set to be live-streamed across a host of platforms in order to reach gamers anywhere. Twitch, Youtube, Mixer, Twitter, and Facebook will be featuring the event over its runtime from May – August. Those interested can visit the website and sign up for notifications when the event and schedule go live. 

Maybe one good thing came out of the pandemic

In a Reddit AmA Keighley emphasized that, while “doing a big, global, digital, interactive festival” was always a dream of his, COVID-19 had definitely “accelerated the plans”. Virtual live events have been proven to be successful. One example is LudoNarraCon – an online convention that recently completed its second annual run and was hosted on Steam. E3 attempted something similar in a bid to keep the convention active, but instead decided to postpone for the year. Organizers had instead promised a new experience for 2021. 

It’s important to note the distinction between E3 and SGF. E3 is a weekend-long showcase featuring many different companies and their technologies, projects and other developments. Summer Game Fest on the other hand, is more of a “central hub for all the programming”. Rather than hunting for info and trying to keep track of everything across different platforms, viewers will be able to do all that and more on the main SGF site. Think of it like a directory with all the info you need in one place for easy access. As the event moves through its phases, the site will grow with new content and become a repository for anything and everything you’re looking for.

We may be all still stuck in quarantine, but at least the summer won’t be entirely lost. Summer Game Fest is set to provide lots of entertainment for anyone feeling the effects of lockdown. And seeing the industry come together in such a way is definitely reassuring for players and companies alike.

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Kevin Dewan

Writer for SQUAD, runs after things a lot. Won't BM you to your face. Okay with losing as long as it's funny.
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