Geoff Keighley has announced that The Game Festival will run again on Steam from June 9 – 14 (roughly the same time frame that E3 2020 was supposed to run before it was canceled due to the coronavirus).
“I’m excited to share that The Game Festival will return this summer on Steam from June 9 – 14 2020, allowing you to play more upcoming games from the comfort of your home,” says Keighley via Twitter. He also shared this link where developers can register for the show.
This is actually the second edition of The Game Festival. The first ran during last year’s Game Awards event and allowed Steam gamers to access a limited series of demos via their accounts. The concept appears to be roughly the same this time around as developers are already being asked to submit their demo builds.
However, there are a couple of factors that make this version of the online event even more intriguing than the last. The first is the call out for more developers to participate in live events and submit an artistic statement about their project. Both suggest an expanded interest in really highlighting the studios during this event as well as an interest in allowing people to play their games from the comfort of their homes.
That takes us to the second thing that makes this event so interesting: the timing. As we noted, this edition of the Games Festival will run during the rough time frame that E3 2020 was supposed to take place. That’s interesting enough on its own, but it’s even more fascinating to consider that Geoff Keighley pulled out of E3 2020 prior to the event’s cancellation over a disagreement over the future of that event.
While there are several theories concerning what, exactly, Keighley meant by that, it does seem that he may have disagreed with some of the changes that E3 2020 would have reportedly featured which would have seen it emphasize more of a “live event” atmosphere. Some of Keighley’s previous statements suggested that he would have preferred to see the event become a more global occasion that embraced the digital age.
In any case, we could very well see digital events like the Game Festival eventually steal some of the thunder and gravitas from E3 over time. While future E3 events may not be cancelled due to global pandemics, there are reasons to believe that the evolving nature of the industry may leave E3 as it was feeling like a relic of the past.