It’s June and video game fans all over the world know what that means – that’s it not E3. Again. The old, personal game show has been canceled for the third year in a row, but this summer will still be full of news and virtual events, thanks in large part to Canada’s darling Geoff Keighley.
It all takes place in early June, which is like right now, so let’s take a look at the schedule for Summer Game Fest and break down what can be expected from the studios involved.
Summer Game Fest is less a unique event and more a state of mind. It consists of a handful of virtual shows spread over 10 days, starting on June 2 with the PlayStation State of Play stream. This has already happened, and it was short and sweet, with a focus on content for PlayStation VR 2. Capcom started with a revelation of Resident Evil 4 remakethe announcement of a VR version of Resident Evil: Villageand a 2023 release window for Street Fighter 6. Square Enix also showed up the first gameplay trailer for Final Fantasy XVI, complete with a 2023 time frame for launch. Strangely enough, there is still no word on when PSVR2 will actually be released.
After that, Activision will host its own little party for the unveiling of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II on June 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The game is a sequel to 2019 Modern warfare and a restart of the series. This show has just ended, and Activision shared their plans to bring along Modern Warfare II‘s technology to the new War zone, which lands after October this year. No Russian, the controversial airport mission from the original Modern Warfare IIcomes not included in the reboot.
Summer Game Fest officially starts with a large livestreamed event on June 9 at 14:00 ET. Hosted by Keighley, the show is expected to be two hours long and will feature messages from the usual suspects, including 2K, Atlus, Bloober Team, Capcom, EA, Epic Games, Warner Bros. and Square Enix. The Developers’ Day stream directly after the main show will highlight indie games specifically, with the support of iam8bit and Double Fine.
Not much has been confirmed publicly for the kickoff show, but we will definitely get a new look at it Gotham Knightsone appearance by The Rockand lots of raw gameplay film, according to Keighley. Even with State of Play last week, there is still room for Capcom to release some details on DLC for Resident Evil: Villageand for Square Enix to showcase Forsaken, which comes out in October. Atlus can show something in the Persona universe, and rumor has it that Bloober Team is working on a Silent Hill game – but it could also be building a new Layers of Fear.
Next on the calendar is indie publishers Devolver Digital, with a Twitch stream on June 9 at. 18.00 ET, the same evening as the main Summer Game Fest event. It’s Devolver, so this show is going to be weird. It will have many f-bombs. It will leave you with the feeling that Devolver is scratchy and relatable, but also way too cool for you. It’s really going to try to hide the fact that, yes, even Devolver’s show is simply another long-running commercial from a company rooted in the video game industry’s multi-billion dollar business system – but most of all, I’m betting it’s going to be fun as hell. Devolver always gives a good show, and they always have a rich list of indie developers to choose from. This year should not be any different, with Suda51 hosting the stream and recent hits The door of death, Encryption, Hiking to Yomi and Strange vest on the publisher’s list.
On June 10, there will be a Netflix Geeked Week stream followed by one Tribeca Games Spotlight with a focus on a curated selection of upcoming indie titles, including Immortality, Thirsty freer, when dusk falls and Oxfri II. And then, on June 12, it’s time for this summer’s most E3 event – the Xbox and Bethesda’s showcase.
The Xbox and Bethesda stream starts at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday, June 12th. There are no confirmed announcements so far, but the program’s cosmic marketing system indicates that we will see something from Starfield, Bethesda’s huge new sci-fi RPG. This will be bittersweet for anyone who has followed the game’s development – just last month, Bethesda delayed Starfield into the first half of 2023, and postpones it from a first release date of November 11, 2022. Apart from a few teaser videos and dev diaries, we have not seen much of Starfieldand the Xbox show is the perfect time to break out some real gameplay and maybe even convince fans that the delay will be worth it.
It’s very possible that we’ll take a good look at another delayed property in Bethesda – Redfallthe open world, the co-op vampire shooter developed by Dishonored studio Arkane. Redfall was originally scheduled to come out this summer, but Bethesda pushed it into the first half of 2023 along with Starfield. It would be great to see some gameplay from this title, as the marketing so far has consisted of stylized, cinematic videos. And to round off the Bethesda properties, there is always a chance Elder rolls 6 will show up, given that we have not seen anything about it since 2018 – you know, when E3 was still a thing.
But that’s enough if Bethesda – Xbox owns 23 game studios and it has Game Pass, the company’s subscription service for streaming games that will surely be mentioned every two minutes during the show. Other potential hits for the Xbox power include Senua’s Saga: Hellblade IInext Forza Motorsport, and maybe even something about the new fable which was announced in 2020. And of course there is always room for Halo: Infinite updates.
With Sony and Microsoft in the latest console generation, the focus right now is on software, and both studios have a lot to prove in this space. Sony barely attended this summer’s event and the company does not seem interested in talking about major internal projects such as God of War: Ragnarok or Insomniacs Spider-Man 2. At the same time, two significant delays from Xbox this year were a major blow to the company’s reputation, especially given how important first-party exclusivity is in a subscription-based ecosystem. Xbox promises to include its best-selling games in Game Pass Day One subscriptions, at no extra cost, while is not the case with Sony’s new subscription service, PlayStation Plus Premium. This is a significant consumer benefit for the Xbox and I expect to hear it very about first-class exclusive in Game Pass during the company’s big show.
And with that, it looks like Summer Game Fest is ready – but there are still many more game news to come this year. Nintendo loves to host digital showcases whenever it wants and we’re just about to have another; EA usually has its own show at some point; Sony still has plenty of PSVR2 and PS Plus Premium details to share, and Microsoft will never stop talking about the Game Pass. It’s actually the Xbox hosts a second showcase on June 14. And when all else fails, there are so many indie games, you guys. Let’s all have some fun.
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