When eyeing over at this June, the scheduled list of events is stacking high. Already, the PlayStation Showcase & Meta Quest Showcase took place. And there is still the Xbox Games Showcase, Devolver Direct, Ubisoft Forward, PC Gaming Show, and Summer Game Fest. Much of these separate shows is to blame for the cancelation of 2023’s E3 earlier this year.
Part of it has to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of it is also pointing at the poor handling of the show in recent years. Now with ReedPop now overseeing the event – it was expected some good news would come for the Los Angeles show. One of the largest withdrawals from the show happened to be The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley in 2020. Keighley went on to form Summer Game Fest many view as his retaliation to the annual event.
But according to Keighley himself, Summer Game Fest was not a weapon to strike down E3. When speaking on the recent episode of the Video Game Chronicles Podcast, he told the publication that more of the actions made by leadership at the event left E3 in turmoil – not Summer Game Fest.
I think E3 sort of killed itself in a way. I understand why people say [SGF killed E3], but I think if anything, we created Summer Game Fest, and I built Summer Game Fest because I saw the wheels falling off the wagon of E3. As someone who loves that time of year… for two decades, E3 was part of my life since I was a 15-year-old kid. [From] the first E3 in 1995, I went to every show. I loved it and it defined my summer.
It was so exciting to me, and it was heartbreaking to see that start to fall apart. I think they had a relevancy problem, and then they also had a participation problem over the final years.So yeah, I think the question is, if we didn’t do Summer Game Fest what would happen? I think things would have just kind of really splintered apart this summer.
Keighley adds: “I get the sentiment around it. It was sad to me that we had to decide to go off and build something new, but we did that all in partnership with the publishers, and our list of partners for Summer Game Fest did not change at all with the cancellation of E3 this year. […] E3 cancelled in 2020, after I’d pulled out, due to the pandemic, and I started Summer Game Fest at home in a spare bedroom, not even knowing what I was really doing – we were just trying to figure out a way to bring news to fans.”
“Everyone we’ve been working with, we’ve been working with for months around Summer Game Fest. So there was a world where Summer Game Fest and E3 would have co-existed, and we had talked a lot to [E3 organiser] ReedPop about that possibility, because they were focused much more on a big trade event, and consumer event, and that’s not what we were doing with Summer Game Fest.”
And then, you remember, there was the digital E3 they did in 2021, which was kind of their stab at, I guess, doing something similar to what we did. And then it didn’t happen last year, didn’t happen this year. So yeah, I never really felt in competition with E3, we were doing something different. We were focusing on a big livestreamed digital show.
I guess in 2021 there was maybe a little bit of competition between what we were doing and what E3 was doing. This year, I thought we had a reasonable plan, that we were doing what we were doing with a big show at YouTube Theater, and our press and influencer event Play Days which is a closed door thing, and E3 was going to do this big trade show at the LA Convention Center with a consumer event.
“And I always thought it was probably overly ambitious for what they were planning this year, but I was like ‘cool, if they can pull that off, great’. We worked out the dates so it was going to be after what we did with Summer Game Fest. So yeah, I didn’t really see it as competitive – I questioned the viability of what their plan was, but if the industry wanted that and wanted to support that, I think people could have done both.
“There were some companies toying with the idea of announcing their game with us, then having it consumer-playable at E3. It’s a bummer it played out the way it did, and I think for a lot of the fans it’s been such a rollercoaster, of willing E3 back. And the feedback it’s always tough to see is when people are like ‘bring back E3’, and that somehow suggests that the Sony event would have been better if it was part of E3 or something. And it’s just, like, the E3 that we all know and love, and that we grew up with – it really hasn’t been E3 for seven or eight years.”
What do you think is the reason for the state of E3 currently?
Summer Game Fest goes live on June 8, 2023 at 3 PM EST / 12 PM PST.
Source: Video Game Chronicles