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With the summer’s largest video game convention, Los Angeles’ E3, officially canceled, several major gaming companies have come together to launch Summer Game Fest, a four-month rollout of news, announcements, playable demos of upcoming games, interviews, panels and more from leading developers and publishers.
Participants will include 2K Games, Activision Publishing, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Blizzard Entertainment, Bungie, CD Projekt Red, Digital Extremes, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Square Enix, Private Division, Riot Games, Steam and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Summer Game Fest will run from May through August.
The Game Awards creator and producer Geoff Keighley will curate content for the event, as well as host and produce pre- and post-show specials for specific news reveals. Video game memorabilia and collectible company iam8bit will also serve as producers and curators of additional programming to be revealed at a later date.
Programming for the Summer Game Fest will be broadcast across all major streaming platforms including Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Twitter, Facebook and beyond. As part of the event, developers will make playable demos of their upcoming games available for a limited time to gamers.
“It’s been a busy quarantine, really doing a lot of listening to where different game developers are and what can help them, as well as listening to fans who really want to believe in something bigger,” Keighley tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It felt like maybe there’s a chance to start something new from the comfort of home.”
While this summer will not see an E3 event for the first time in decades, game companies (as well as media outlets like IGN) have organized their own virtual events to share news with consumers, including next week’s Inside Xbox show, which will reveal footage from games on the company’s next-gen console, Xbox Series X, due out this holiday season.
“Everyone’s going to do their own digital events, but how do you find a place that is a central repository of everything that’s happening this summer in games?” says Keighley of the Summer Game Fest. “We’re not trying to compete with anyone, but really trying to be this signpost directory to all the things that are happening.”
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