New details emerge on this year’s E3, Summer Game Fest plans

As the gaming world waits and wonders what this summer will bring in terms of special events and new announcements, we’ve gotten some first teases on what may await.

Last year, the plan was to have E3 like always—and then, of course, that plan went completely awry thanks to COVID-19. With the cancellation of E3 coming at nearly the last minute as show runners hoped there might still be a chance to hold the event, there was no solid solution for a replacement digital-only E3 that could be put into place in time. In the wake of the show’s absence, some companies decided to do things their own way, while others got together under the Summer Game Fest banner.

Launched by games media veteran Geoff Keighley, Summer Game Fest was an idea to try to have so cohesion to the various streams that would be taking place over the summer months. While I give Keighley credit for putting together what he did in such a short amount of time, it often didn’t feel like the various events that took place were really connected in any way, and having random things happen at random times across numerous months made it hard to really feel any hype for what was taking place.

This year, things are different. We live in a world where COVID-19 has been part of our daily lives for nearly a year now, so both Keighley and the ESA (the organization that runs E3) have had time to prepare more streamlined, planned events for 2021 knowing that a tradition E3 still isn’t possible.

In a report from Video Games Chronicle today, the ESA is supposedly proposing a three-day streaming event that would take place from June 15th to June 17th.

According to VGC:

The ESA’s intention is to hold multiple two-hour keynote sessions from games partners, an awards show, a June 14 preview night and other smaller streams from games publishers, influencers and media partners.

The broadcast event would be supplemented by media previews the week before, as well as demos released on consumer platforms, according to the ESA’s proposal.

Video Games Chronicle

Along with that, participating publishers and developers would be allowed to “remotely stream playable game demos to the media across ‘thousands’ of scheduled meetings, with one-to-one assistance from developers.”

All of these plans, however, would require the approval of the members of the ESA.

In response, the ESA sent out the following statement:

We can confirm that we are transforming the E3 experience for 2021 and will soon share exact details on how we’re bringing the global video game community together.

We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.

Entertainment Software Association

Meanwhile, earlier today, the official Summer Game Fest Twitter account sent out the following tweet, giving a first tease at the return of the event.

A later tweet from Keighley himself seemed to hint at some revisions to this year’s Summer Game Fest following feedback from what took place last year. When asked if SGF would “be 4 months again” or shorter, Keighley replied that it would unfold across “less than 1 month”—which definitely sounds like a welcome change.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about how this summer will look for E3, the Summer Game Fest, or any company-specific streaming events, but at least we can feel pretty confident that this year’s plans will be far better planned, and schedules far better scheduled.

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