E3 might be canceled this year, but at least Summer Game Fest is starting off with a bang. Thursday’s PlayStation State of Play is branded as being part of Geoff Keighley’s loose confederation of summertime game announcements. PlayStation was an official partner of the event last year, but this appears to be the first time it’s featuring the fact so prominently. While Summer Game Fest doesn’t officially begin until June 9, the State of Play will give us a taste of future gaming goodness in advance of the opening stream.
Sony partners with Summer Game Fest for June 2 State of Play
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) May 31, 2022
Fans will likely wonder what Sony partnering with Summer Game Fest for the PlayStation State of Play means. For the event itself, probably nothing. Plenty of announcements throughout the summer will be “part of Summer Game Fest” but are shown independently. Unlike E3, which schedules conferences as part of a week-long block, Summer Game Fest is more of a marketing arrangement that helps signal boost individual announcements over three months.
The big takeaway from State of Play being part of Summer Game Fest is the legitimacy Sony is lending to it. In the last two years, digital events have largely supplanted E3. It was canceled in 2020 and held digitally in 2021. After canceling the event in its entirety in 2022, the ESA said it’ll be back in 2023. However, there’s no reason for a company like Sony to prepare two separate showcases, one for E3 and one for Summer Game Fest.
E3’s failure to adapt might lead to it being supplanted by Summer Game Fest, especially if highly-anticipated events like PlayStation State of Plays are part of the latter.
Opinion: There’s still a place for E3
Jason writes: I had the opportunity to attend E3 2019, the last one that was held in person before COVID 19 forced the world into lockdown. For me, the most important parts of it weren’t the conferences but the ability to share some face time with developers and get the behind-the-scenes story. Unfortunately, without that sort of venue, a lot of neat info we wouldn’t have otherwise is lost. E3 shouldn’t try to compete with streaming conferences but should go back to its routes as a professional event.