Summer Game Fest brings digital gaming events from PlayStation, Xbox, EA, others

Summer Game Fest, a four-month digital gaming festival featuring some of gaming’s biggest publishers, kicks off later this month.

Put together by The Game Awards founder and showrunner Geoff Keighley, Summer Game Fest will feature everything from playable demos to digital events hosted by publishers. Microsoft’s Inside Xbox stream, which will feature Xbox Series X games, takes place at 11 a.m. ET on May 7 will kick it off. It culminates with a developer showcase on August 24 that is in collaboration with Gamescom and iam8bit. Keighley says that a full schedule of events will release soon.

Other previously announced events include digital game festivals from Xbox and Steam that will allow players to go hands-on with unreleased titles, which will be similar to the 48-hour Game Festival that The Game Awards put on in December 2019.

Participants for “phase one” of the Summer Game Fest include 2K Games, Activision, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie, CD Projekt Red, Digital Extremes, Electronic Arts, PlayStation, Private Division, Riot Games, Square Enix, Steam, Warner Bros., and Xbox.

Keighley said he hopes Nintendo will join Summer Game Fest since it’s the only console maker not yet involved, though the event is open to all publishers.

“This year has been a challenge for all of us,” Keighley wrote on Twitter. “For a while, I thought 2020 might be the first time in 25 years we didn’t have a big, magic, industry-wide moment. It really bummed me out to see everything fracture. More than ever, this is a year we need a positive, uplifting center of gravity to bring this global community together.”

Keighley believes that Summer Game Fest will give a glimpse into the future of how games are shown off and that includes giving gamers playable content immediately after seeing a trailer.

“I think these barriers are going to come down not this summer, but in the future, and I think we’ll get to the point where it’ll be playable trailers,” Keighley told GamesIndustry.biz. “Where you can just have a really amazing four-minute experience in a game and then want to check it out. Playable content will be here across this summer, but I also don’t want people to think, ‘I’m getting a Cyberpunk demo. Now I’m getting a Halo Infinite demo.’ Not every game is going to deliver that promise.”

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