New details about Summer Game Fest 2022 have been revealed, with the “core” of the event confirmed to be taking place between June 9 and June 12.
Geoff Keighley has previously confirmed that Summer Game Fest will kick off on June 9 at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST, with a “live cross-industry showcase” containing “huge new game announcements, world premieres, special guests, and much more.”
However, in a new interview with Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) (via VGC (opens in new tab)) it’s revealed that the event is expected to run through to June 12 with “a number of big streams from developers and publishers” expected between. June 12 is, it’s worth noting, the day of the Xbox and Bethesda showcase which is scheduled to stream at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST.
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While the core of Summer Game Fest is to take place across these four days, though, it looks like some announcements could fall outside of this period, with Keighley telling Epic Games Store, “I think everything's going to be really compact within a matter of weeks as the industry sort of represents itself to the wider world in June, with everyone sort of doing events”.
This follows the same sort of layout as last year’s show and certainly makes it more compact than the four-month inaugural Summer Game Fest in 2020 which, Keighley says, “was really just like a big learning exercise across the summer.”
Keighley adds that while he’s aware of “a prevailing sentiment that everyone likes everything kind of packed in two days, or three days, or something like that” that kind of brief window is “really hard to do because companies want to own specific days. So, I don't know if we're ever gonna go back to that old model of everything being sort of compacted into just a couple of days.”
As for the announcements themselves, Keighley suggests that “a change in tempo and quantity” of announcements is likely as a reflection of the changing industry.
“It's just not how companies are set up today,” he explains. “I mean, they're more live service games. I look at the landscape now and the most exciting stuff for me is coming from a lot of these independent studios, or venture-backed companies, versus the big, traditional publishers.”
The show could also show more of developers from around the world, rather than focusing primarily on western developers, with Keighley adding, “I think you'll see some of that kind of representation in our show in some interesting ways to talk about the global state of game development and who the people are making these games.
“We're really thoughtful about trying to show a very global view of who's making games out there.”
We're still waiting on a more firm schedule for Summer Game Fest to be revealed but the with the partners page on the official site (opens in new tab) looking fairly well-populated and that June 9 start date looming, it doesn't feel like it'll be long.
Analysis: The future of game events
With E3 2022 canceled, it really does feel like Summer Game Fest is stepping into its shoes. That’s not necessarily going to be a permanent state of affairs, however, as the ESA has said that it’s looking to 2023 as the year to get things back on track, stating its intention to "devote all our energy and resources to delivering a revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer."
Amidst continued uncertainty around the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Summer Game Fest’s all-online approach makes it adaptable, however, shows like GDC (opens in new tab) and Gamescom have announced that they have and will be embracing in-person elements this year.
Summer Game Fest has always been all-online anyway but when asked whether it might take this more hybrid approach in the future, Keighley said that while it will “always be digital first”, there are plans to “introduce some physical components.”
Some of that will actually happen this year, he reveals, with the team “working to have some media and influencers in and around Los Angeles come to do some hands-on with some games”. These elements will not, he says, “be a big, public event” but other aspects, like the IMAX screenings, are more accessible to the public, bringing people together without centralizing the show in one place.
Keighley adds, however, that they won’t go down the “traditional” route of renting a convention centre. “That feels like a kind of an older model to me,” he says. “I do think we're going to start to think about how we physicalize the things we're doing and bring the community together in a real interesting way.”