With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the cancellation of industry events such as the Game Developers Conference and E3, many have felt there's a distinct lack of opportunity for showcasing new titles this year.
Geoff Keighley felt the pain and didn't want to wait until the Game Awards at the end of the year.
Introducing @summergamefest, a new season of news, in-game events, and playable content from the entire video game industry. May - August 2020, and a developer showcase with @iam8bit too. See you soon! https://t.co/Hp7WuLrjXk pic.twitter.com/DashSP4Q5I
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) May 1, 2020
As of the time of this writing, the Summer Game Fest site is live, but not showing anything substantive. It also appears their mailing list form is currently experiencing technical difficulties.
From Keighley's tweet, he's anticipating an entire summer's worth of content, rather than trying to duplicate the week-long frenzy of activity one typically finds around E3. It's not unreasonable to expect that developers and publishers who had prepared trailers for E3 would pivot to Summer Game Fest, though playable demos may prove more problematic.
Traditionally, playable content at E3 has been restricted to the press, with some demos coming out after the show. If Keighley has managed to get significant buy-in not only from big publishers like EA and 2K Games but also console manufacturers, it's possible we could be seeing Summer Game Fest sections appearing on PSN and Xbox Live storefronts.
The showcase partnership with iam8bit is potentially exciting, as the company is well known for producing not only game-related collectibles but physical copies of indie game titles, which are generally limited to online platforms like Steam or GOG.com.
It might be expecting too much for the infamous E3 swag to become available through the iam8bit store site suddenly. Still, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that certain merchandise items tied in with Summer Game Fest could appear throughout the summer.
For now, head over to the Summer Game Fest, and keep an eye out here for related announcements.