Summer Game Fest is returning this June with a month-long series of exclusive digital events, beginning with a celebration featuring a dozen world premieres and a performance by Weezer.
Summer Game Fest was created in 2020 to fill the void left by the cancellation of E3, with the new digital event series featuring a whole range of trailers, announcements, and in-game events across three months.
Despite E3 being back this year in an online format, Summer Game Fest is returning in 2021, with a condensed event taking place in June. The Prime Gaming-sponsored event will begin just days before E3, but creator Geoff Keighley isn’t trying create competition between the two – he expects fans to tune into every gaming event this summer.
Keighley has also noted that fans should be “excited but cautious” due to the amount of games impacted by the pandemic in the last year. While plenty of great announcements can still be expected, you should probably prepare for less new games than usual after widespread development delays.
Initial details for the 2021 event have been released, but you should keep an eye out for many more updates as the premiere showcase approaches on June 10 (or the early hours of June 11 if you’re in Australia). For now, here’s everything you need to know so far.
The month-long festival is set to begin with a bang, with the Kickoff Live event bringing entertainment and announcements, while setting up the following events. This event will be produced and hosted by Keighley, who has teased around 20 games making an appearance in the show, with at least a dozen major world premieres and reveals.
The broadcast will even feature a performance by Weezer, who will reveal a new ‘stream-safe’ game soundtrack song they promise streamers can use without worrying about copyright strikes.
The celebration will also include Day of the Devs, the indie games showcase that became part of Summer Game Fest last year.
It's official: #SummerGameFest returns LIVE starting on Thursday, June 10.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) May 19, 2021
Unlike last year’s event, Summer Game Fest 2021’s kick-off broadcast will be the focal point of the series. While the 2020 event was critiqued for being long and drawn out, this year Keighley has focused on creating one good show before passing on the baton to individual publishers.
The rest of the festival will involve co-hosting these different summer events, such as the returning Ubisoft Forward, with plenty more partner broadcasts to be announced.
More events and details are still likely to emerge throughout the festival, so check back for updates or sign up to Summer Game Fest’s mailing list to make sure you don’t miss any announcements.
Here are the key events to look forward to that we know so far. Note that times are in AEST and yes, Aussie gamers will need to get up that early (or stay up that late) to watch live:
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Kickoff Live (June 11, 4am): “Geoff Keighley hosts a spectacular live world premiere showcase, with a performance by Weezer, Day of the Devs and more!”
Netflix Geeked Week (June 12, 2am): “Geoff Keighley joins @NetflixGeeked to debut shows and films based on your favourite games!”
Tribeca Games Spotlight (June 12, 4am): “A showcase featuring exclusive gameplay and creator interviews from Tribeca’s official selections“
Koch Primetime (June 12, 5am): “We know something you don’t know”
Ubisoft Forward (June 13, 5am): “A first look at Ubisoft’s upcoming lineup”
Devolver Digital (June 13, 6:30am): “Devolver’s annual showcase event”
Xbox + Bethesda Games Showcase (June 14, 3am): “Tune in for a look at the future of games from Xbox + Bethesda”
Square Enix Presents (June 14, 5:15am): “World premieres, new game announcements, updates and news from Square Enix”
Back 4 Blood Showcase (June 14, 7am): “Get an in-depth look at Back 4 Blood”
Steam Next Fest (June 17, 3am): “Six days, hundreds of demos”
Sonic Symphony Orchestra (June 24, 5am): “An orchestral performance of selections from 30 years of Sonic titles in a special Summer Game Fest event”
EA Play Live (July 23, time TBA): “EA’s summer showcase of upcoming games”
Over 30 publishers, platforms, and partners have been confirmed as contributing content or events to the festival as it kicks off.
More partners may still be announced (and some surprises can even be expected), but here’s who we currently know:
- Amazon Games
- Annapurna Interactive
- Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Battlestate Games
- Blizzard Entertainment
- Devolver Digital
- Electronic Arts
- Epic Games
- Gearbox Publishing
- Hi-Rez Studios
- Koch Media
- Prime Gaming
- Raw Fury
- Riot Games
- Saber Interactive
- Square Enix
- Tribeca Festival
- Tencent Games
- Warner Bros. Games
- Wizards of the Coast
While major players like PlayStation have been confirmed as partners, it’s worth noting that Nintendo is once again missing from the list. Keighley has extended an invitation welcoming the company to participate, though it’s not looking likely that they’ll be accepting.
How to watch Summer Games Fest 2021
Summer Game Fest is following the trend of gaming showcases going completely online, being made free and available to watch worldwide on all livestream platforms. This includes Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more, so you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.
You don’t even need to worry about registering – everything will be accessible for anyone to watch on their streaming platform of choice. Co-streaming of the festival’s events is even welcomed, with the option to sign up as an official co-streamer to get a special toolkit of assets.