Like all conventions, E3 was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Geoff Keighley, host of the annual Game Awards, is hosting another event to help fill the void. The Steam Game Festival Summer Edition will run June 9 – 14, and feature several days of free demos of upcoming games.
“For the past few months I’ve thought a lot about new global and digital ways we could celebrate games the summer,” said Keighley on Twitter. “Today the announcement of the Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition is the first preview of what’s coming together. The Steam Game Festival will give you the chance to play demos of upcoming games from developers around the world. And you can do it for free from the comfort of your own home in these uncertain times.”
With conventions shutting down around the world, developers and publishers are discovering new challenges for marketing their games. Indie developers in particular relied on getting their games in the hands of convention attendees for positive word of mouth. The Steam Games Festival allows developers to submit their game demos, as well as an Artist Statement and optional live streaming events.
Keighley previously worked with Valve for the Steam Game Festival Spring Edition in March, as a response to GDC’s last-minute cancellation. The Spring Edition featured over 40 indie games with free demos.
The deadline for developer submissions is April 24, and demos must be submitted by May 15. Game submissions should have a tentative release date before next summer. Games that are already available via Steam Early Access are not included in the event. The Steam Game Festival Summer Edition begins June 9.