Geoff Keighley, creator and host of The Game Awards, announced the Summer Game Fest today, a four-month long celebration of video game news and events that will all take place digitally from the comfort of our homes.

Keighley bills the show as “a first-of-its-kind, all-digital consumer celebration … a multi-month global festival that highlights video games, the world’s leading form of entertainment.”

The entirely new format for releasing game news throughout the Summer got a teaser video (above) showing just who is set to participate and what to expect. And the list is essentially anyone who’s anyone in the industry:

  • 2K
  • 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
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Notable additions include Microsoft and Sony, both of whom have next-gen console launches coming later this year. Sony hasn’t been present at E3 since 2018 and had no plans to be at this year’s show before it was cancelled. Many have wondered when they were planning on showing more of the PlayStation 5 and its launch titles, and it appears that this is their plan.

Bethesda recently said that it would not be holding a digital presentation, but their participation in the Summer Game Fest could be something entirely different. Private Division, having just published The Outer Worlds, is also publishing V1 Interactive’s Disintegration, so we can likely expect more from that game. V1 Interactive is lead by former Bungie creative Marcus Lehto.

On the flip side, notably absent is Nintendo, who typically does their own thing when it comes to game announcements but was the last of the big three console manufacturers with a large booth at E3. Additional publishers are set to be announced in the coming weeks, so it is not impossible that the Kyoto-based company joins the ranks of the others, but this is unclear at this point.

On the topic of E3, this may well be the last nail in the coffin for the show that was been plagued by an information leak in 2019, declining attendance, and cancellation of this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft will be hosting its first gameplay reveal of titles for Xbox Series X from third-party partners on May 7th. Whether this announcement will technically be under the Summer Game Fest banner or simply another edition of Inside Xbox remains to be seen. The press release for the announcement explains we will have more information from Microsoft within the next week, so we expect to have this question answered by then.

“In these uncertain and challenging times, it’s more important than ever that video games serve as a common and virtual connection point between us all,” said Geoff Keighley, curator, Summer Game Fest. “SGF is an organizing principle that promises fans a whole season of video game news and other surprises from the comfort of home.”

It appears that part of the Summer Game Fest concept is bringing demos back to the gaming world. Somehow, Keighley has worked with publishers and developers to allow some games on Steam, Xbox, and other platforms to have “limited time demonstrations and trials of select game content.”

Announcements of Summer Game Fest will span all major platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and less traditional outlets such as Instagram and Tik Tok.

Keighley will be hosting pre- and post-shows for flagship publisher events as well as gamescom: Opening Night Live on August 24th, which will serve as the wrap up to the Summer Game Fest season.

Stay tuned for all the details from Summer Game Fest as it happens. We expect to hear the first news next Thursday from Microsoft during Inside Xbox.

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