Summer Game Fest is returning for 2021, and it will once again include the Double Fine and iam8bit Day of the Devs: Summer Game Fest Edition, featuring “new video game content, including world exclusive news and gameplay, plus video game musical performances.”
Last year, industry hype man Geoff Keighley took it upon himself to create Summer Game Fest, a summer-long celebration of games that gathered all of the individual independent developer and publisher showcases, as well as a few of the bigger industry events like gamescom, under one banner as a kind of pseudo-replacement for E3 and an answer to the pandemic lockdown orders.
Day of the Devs is an indie showcase entering its ninth year, co-produced by Double Fine and iam8bit. It’s partnership with Summer Game Fest is notable, considering both Geoff Keighley and iam8bit walked away from E3 2020 plans prior to The ESA cancelling the whole event last year.
Keighley has also been touting Summer Game Fest and Day of the Devs as free, with no costs for attendees or developers who wish to participate. This is in bold opposition to reports that The ESA was seeking premium paid options for E3 2021 (which it has since rescinded), as well as charging six-figure sums for exhibitors who want to participate. With reports that many publishers are holding back their bigger main reveals for independent showcases outside of E3 2021, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some of those bear the Summer Game Fest banner as Keighley once again looks to unite the industry.
Last year, Keighely brought together the likes of PlayStation, Xbox, Bungie, Activision, EA, Square Enix, and more for Summer Game Fest. If things hold up this year, expect to see events like the next Square Enix Presents showcase under the Summer Game Fest umbrella. Last year featured major reveals like Epic’s Unreal Engine 5, and concluded with the gamescom Opening Night Live showcase.
The benefit of Summer Game Fest is the ability for each exhibitor to retain full control of the timing of their own announcements, but give them a unified place where interested players can see the full schedule of the summer’s events.
Currently no scheduled events have been announced except for Day of the Devs, but expect more information soon about which publishers will be participating and what we can expect to see for this year’s Summer Game Fest in the coming weeks.