Summer Game Fest (Video Game) – Biography Points

Summer Game Fest

Table of Contents

Summer Game Fest (Video Game)

Summer Game Fest is an exciting annual event in the world of video games, orchestrated and presented by game journalist Geoff Keighley. This vibrant showcase unfolds across various live streams during the North American summer season, with its highlight being the captivating “main show” typically kicking off the festivities, spotlighting eagerly anticipated upcoming game releases. Following the main event, fans are treated to the “Day of the Devs” after-show, focusing on indie titles. Additionally, numerous other streams featuring affiliated and unaffiliated game titles complement the main showcase in the days following its debut.

Originating in 2020 as a response to the cancellation of major industry events like Gamescom and the now-defunct E3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Summer Game Fest has become a cornerstone of the gaming calendar.

The latest iteration, the fifth Summer Game Fest, unfolded at the YouTube Theater from June 7 to June 10, 2024, captivating audiences with its electrifying lineup.

Notably, Nintendo and Konami opted for alternative showcases, with Nintendo scheduling a separate Nintendo Direct later in June, while Konami chose to unveil their games through other channels, distancing themselves from the event.

United States (U.S)

Summer Game Fest
 June 7, 2024
StatusActive
Genre Video games
Country United States
InauguratedMay 1, 2020
Most RecentJune 7, 2024
Organized  Geoff Keighley
Websitehttps://www.summergamefest.com/

History

2020 - 2021

Games journalist Geoff Keighley has been closely involved with the ESA since the late 1990s, lending his support to the annual E3 convention held every June. One of his significant contributions was organizing the E3 Coliseum, an adjunct event aimed at providing developers and their games with additional exposure beyond the traditional press conferences. However, the ESA’s shift in focus towards what they termed a “fan, media, and influencer festival” for E3 2020 drew criticism from various quarters within the industry. Notably, Sony Interactive Entertainment decided to skip the event, having also been absent from E3 2019, citing a misalignment between the ESA’s vision and its own expectations. Geoff Keighley, too, chose not to participate in the event, expressing discomfort with the changes implemented by the ESA.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the physical E3 event in 2020. In response, Geoff Keighley collaborated with multiple developers and publishers to launch the Summer Game Fest, a four-month-long digital extravaganza running from May 1 to August 24, 2020. This initiative aimed to provide a platform for developers and publishers to showcase their upcoming projects through live streams and other virtual events, compensating for the absence of E3 and Gamescom. Concurrently, Keighley also supported the third iteration of the Steam Game Festival, which coincided with the previously canceled 2020 Game Developers Conference, spanning from June 16 to June 22, 2020. Featuring over 900 game demos on Steam and a series of developer interviews, this festival allowed players to explore upcoming titles and engage with the creators.

Furthermore, as part of the Summer Game Fest, an event dedicated to Xbox One games took place from July 21 to July 27, 2020. This initiative aimed to showcase upcoming titles and foster community engagement within the Xbox gaming ecosystem.

Key announcements during the Summer Game Fest 2020 included:

  • The unveiling of “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2,” a remastered collection of the iconic skateboarding games optimized for modern gaming platforms.
  • The debut of “Unreal Engine 5,” the latest iteration of Epic Games’ renowned game engine, slated for release in mid-2021.
  • The announcement of “Star Wars: Squadrons,” a new space combat game developed by Motive Studios and Electronic Arts, featuring intense team-based battles using iconic Star Wars spacecraft.
  • The reveal of “Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time,” a sequel to the beloved original trilogy of Crash Bandicoot games, developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision.
  • The confirmation of “Cuphead” making its way to the PlayStation 4, expanding the availability of the critically acclaimed run-and-gun platformer to a broader audience.

History of 2021

The second Summer Game Fest took place from June 10 to July 22, 2021, coinciding with E3 2021. From June 15–21, 2021, ID@Xbox offered a number of demos of upcoming games for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X and Series S consoles as part of the Summer Game Fest.

The Summer Game Fest opened with an announcement stream of games hosted by Geoff Keighley on June 10, 2021. The Summer Game Fest included the first Tribeca Games Spotlight on June 11, 2021, featuring games nominated for the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival video game award. Koch Media presented a showcase on June 11, 2021, as part of the Summer Game Fest. Sony participated in the event by holding a State of Play on July 8, 2021.

 

Announcement Stream (June 10, 2021)

Title
Among Us
The Anacrusis
Back 4 Blood
Call of Duty: Warzone
The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
Death Stranding Director’s Cut (PS5)
Elden Ring
Escape from Tarkov
Evil Dead: The Game
Fall Guys
Jurassic World Evolution 2
Lost Ark
Metal Slug Tactics
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin (NS)
Overwatch 2
Planet of Lana
Salt and Sacrifice
Solar Ash
Tales of Arise
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XBXS)
Two Point Campus
Valorant
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt

Tribeca Games Spotlight (June 11, 2021)

Title
The Big Con
Harold Halibut
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Lost in Random
NORCO
Sable
SIGNALS
12 Minutes

Koch Media Showcase (June 11, 2021)

Title
The Chant
Codename Final Form
Crossfire: Legion
Dolman
Echoes of the End
Encased
Gungrave G.O.R.E.
King’s Bounty 2
The Last Oricru
Painkiller 2
Payday 3
Scars Above

Sony State of Play (July 8, 2021)

Title
Arcadegeddon
Deathloop
Death Stranding: Director’s Cut
Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles
F.I.S.T.
Hunter’s Arena: Legends
Jett: The Far Shore
Lost Judgment
Moss: Book II
Sifu
Tribes of Midgard

2022

The third Summer Game Fest ran throughout June 2022, with its core programming from June 9 to 12. Key publishers with individual showcases included Capcom, Devolver Digital, Epic Games, Netflix, Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox.

2023

The fourth Summer Game Fest was held as a combined digital and physical event for the first time on June 8, 2023, at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles. A physical component was also available to the press in 2022. The event featured the following companies:

  • Activision
  • Amazon Games
  • Annapurna
  • Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Behaviour
  • Capcom
  • CD Projekt RED
  • Devolver Digital
  • Digital Extremes
  • Disney
  • Electronic Arts
  • Epic Games
  • Focus Entertainment
  • Gearbox Publishing
  • Grinding Gear Games
  • Hoyoverse
  • Kabam
  • Larian Studios
  • Level Infinite
  • Magic the Gathering
  • Neowiz
  • Netflix
  • Nexon
  • Niantic
  • North Beach Games
  • Paradox
  • Pearl Abyss
  • Phoenix Labs
  • Plaion
  • PlayStation
  • Pocket Pair
  • Razer
  • Samsung Gaming Hub
  • Second Dinner
  • Sega
  • Smilegate
  • Square Enix
  • Steam
  • Techland
  • Tribeca Festival
  • Ubisoft
  • Warner Bros. Games
  • Xbox

Nintendo and Konami were not featured in the 2023 event. Instead, Nintendo held an independent Nintendo Direct online presentation on June 21.

2024

The fifth Summer Game Fest took place at the YouTube Theater from June 7 to June 10, 2024. Nintendo once again chose not to participate, opting for a separate Nintendo Direct later in June. Konami also decided to announce their games through other methods not associated with the event.

Following the 2024 Summer Game Fest, Diego Nicolás Argüello of Paste observed that the event seemed to be in a “transitional period,” evolving towards a format reminiscent of the traditional E3 expo. He remarked, “As of now, the Summer Game Fest conglomerate stands as a hybrid of sorts—a fading summer vacation with the preview commitment traditions of old. Perhaps it was naive to expect the ‘chill’ vibe to remain as one of the event’s pillars, as it’s already becoming larger than its intended place and runtime. It’s clear that this ambition is deliberate. But I’m glad I caught it during this period.”

Events

The highlight of Summer Games Fest is the “Main Show,” typically held on the first day of the event. This show features trailers and showcases for major upcoming releases, primarily consisting of paid promotional content from major publishers. However, a few “free slots” are reserved for smaller and indie games, allowing these studios to gain exposure without incurring costs.

 

Summer Game Fest creator and host Geoff Keighley
Summer Game Fest creator and host Geoff Keighley

Day of the Devs

Following the Main Show is the “Day of the Devs” after-show, which focuses on upcoming indie games. This segment was first introduced in 2020, after the original in-person festival in San Francisco was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The games featured on this stream are selected through an application process that closes a few months before the event. Developers and publishers do not have to pay any fees to be featured.

Publisher-Specific Shows

Similar to E3, Summer Game Fest includes several publisher-specific shows. These allow major publishers to showcase their upcoming titles in dedicated segments.

Trailers

Publishers and developers pay to have their trailers featured during the Main Show. For the 2024 event, the cost is $250,000 for a one-minute trailer, with an additional $100,000 for each extra 30 seconds. Despite a few “free slots” for smaller and indie games, the high cost has led to criticism. Many smaller studios find it challenging to afford these rates, limiting their ability to showcase their games. It was estimated that the 2023 Game Awards earned $9.65 million in trailer fees, highlighting the significant financial barrier for smaller developers.

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