Summer game fest: how to watch this summer’s digital gaming events

Even though E3, Gamescom, and other summer gaming events have become online-only or outright canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has already been a lot of gaming news this summer.

We finally know what the PlayStation 5 looks like and some of the games coming to the system, and Microsoft has revealed some of the Xbox Series X’s lineup, including a first look at Halo Infinite’s campaign. We’ve also seen previews of Cyberpunk 2077, Star Wars: Squadrons, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the future of Destiny 2, and more.

Although the pace of events is starting to slow down, they aren’t all over yet. There’s Gamescom to look forward to in August and the new, multi-day PAX Online event in September. We’ve rounded up some details about those events in this post, and we’ll add other major events if they’re announced.

We’ve also been tracking events that have already happened, so if you want to relive some of the biggest moments in summer gaming news, check out our archive in the “Completed Events” section.

What is the Summer Game Fest?

The “Summer Game Fest” is a shorthand phrase for all the gaming events that have sprung up in the wake of COVID cancellations. Originally, Geoff Keighley, who created The Game Awards, created it as a series of digital events throughout the summer featuring “breaking news, in-game events, and free playable content.” Many large publishers joined on, including Bethesda, Blizzard Entertainment, CD Projekt Red, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Riot, Sony, and Square Enix.

You can see the full schedule here, which is updated as events are added, and watch them on a variety of platforms including Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube. (Note that some of these are the accounts for The Game Awards.)

August Events

Gamescom’s Opening Night Live

What: Geoff Keighley will be hosting another Opening Night Live event timed with Gamescom, which is now an all-digital event. It will be a “spectacular, industry-wide finale” to the Summer Game Fest, according to the Summer Game Fest calendar.

When: Thursday, August 27th, TBA time

How to watch: Since it’s a Summer Game Fest event, it seems likely you’ll be able to watch Opening Night Live on all of the Summer Game Fest platforms, including Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube. (Note that some of these are the accounts for The Game Awards.)

September Events

PAX Online

What: PAX Online is a nine-day virtual event that’s replacing PAX West and PAX Australia this year. There will be three channels hosting content all day for each day of the conference and downloadable demos to replicate actually playing games on the show floor.

When: Saturday, September 12th through Sunday, September 20th, TBA time

How to watch: TBA, though it seems likely that you’ll be able to watch some events on PAX’s Twitch channel

Completed Events

Destiny 2 event

What: Bungie said it would be revealing the “next chapter of Destiny 2.”

When: Tuesday, June 9th, 12PM ET

How to watch: You can watch the presentation on YouTube.

Sony’s The Future of Gaming event for PS5

What: Sony hosted an event to provide “a first look at the games you’ll be playing after PlayStation 5 launches this holiday” on June 11th.

When: Thursday, June 11th, 4PM ET

How to watch: You can watch a replay on YouTube

The PC Gaming Show

What: The PC Gaming Show showcased “new games, never-before-seen gameplay footage, and announcements from some of PC gaming’s biggest and most interesting developers.” You can see the full lineup of developers involved here. The event was two hours long, though unlike previous years, it was pre-recorded instead of shown live.

The event was originally scheduled for June 6th, but was delayed to June 13th to “make space for those speaking out and demonstrating about how to end the systemic oppression and police brutality experienced by black people.”

When: Saturday, June 13th, 2PM ET

How to watch: Watch a replay of the event on YouTube

The Future Games Show

What: The hour-long Future Games Show included “exclusive trailers, announcements, and deep dives on existing AAA and indie games.” Content covered “40+ games on console, PC, and mobile,” according to GamesRadar, which is hosting the event. Publishers participating included Square Enix, Devolver Digital, and more. Nolan North and Emily Rose, who star in the Uncharted series as Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher, hosted.

The show was first planned for June 6th, but was postponed to June 13th “in support of the protests demanding justice and change over the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police.”

When: Saturday, June 13th, 5PM ET

How to watch: You can watch the full event on YouTube

Guerrilla Collective

What: Guerrilla Collective is a new “digital games festival” that took place from June 13th to June 15th, produced by Media Indie Exchange and the Kinda Funny Games Showcase. Studios on board with the event included Humble Publishing, Larian Studios, Paradox Interactive, and many more. The event was delayed from its original June 6th start date out of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

When:

  • Saturday, June 13th, 12PM ET
  • Sunday, June 14th, 12PM ET
  • Monday, June 15th, 12PM ET

How to watch: Watch replays of day 1, 2, and 3 on YouTube

EA Play Live 2020

What: EA says its EA Play Live 2020 will be a live digital broadcast, but the studio hasn’t shared many details beyond that just yet. EA delayed the event on June 5th due to the “important conversations taking place and important voices being heard around the world right now.”

When: Thursday, June 18th, 7PM ET

How to watch: Watch the replay on YouTube

Summer Game Fest Developer Showcase

What: The two Summer Game Fest Developer Showcases (one in June and one in July) will feature “a select group of upcoming indie and AAA video games” curated by Geoff Keighley and the Day of the Devs team, which includes Double Fine founder Tim Schafer. The showcases will have gameplay, news, and musical performances, and Annapurna Interactive, The Behemoth, Panic, thatgamecompany, and Ustwo Games are among the developers that will be part of the events.

When: The first one took place on Monday, June 22nd, at 11AM ET

How to watch: Watch the replay on YouTube

New Game Plus Expo

What: 14 publishers from North America and Japan, including Koei Tecmo America, Natsume, Sega of America, SNK, and WayForward, hosted New Game Plus Expo (NGPX), a digital event featuring “dozens of games,” including new game announcements and live demos.

When: Tuesday, June 23rd, 11AM ET

How to watch: Watch the replay on YouTube

Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City Wire

What: Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red hosted a digital broadcast about the game. It was delayed on June 2nd because “more important discussions are happening right now and we want them to be heard.”

When: Thursday, June 25th, 12PM ET

How to watch: Watch the replay on YouTube

IGN’s Summer of Gaming

What: IGN hosted a “global, digital event” to “bring you the latest news and impressions around upcoming games and the next generation of console hardware.” There will be live broadcasts and on-demand programming. IGN’s event featured many publishers, including Blizzard, CD Projekt Red, EA, Facebook (including Oculus), Google Stadia, Humble, Microsoft, PC Gaming Show, Sega, Square Enix, Twitter, and Ubisoft.

As part of the event, IGN also hosted IGN Expo, a “showcase for exclusive announcements and reveals from developers across the industry.”

When: Events took place throughout June starting on Wednesday, June 10th. The IGN Expo events happened on June 10th, 11th, 12th, and 15th. You can view the full Summer of Gaming schedule here.

On June 2nd, IGN announced it would delay the start of the Summer of Gaming event to June 8th “out of respect for and in support of those rightfully demanding justice and change across the United States and the world.” IGN delayed the event again to June 10th out of respect for the funeral of George Floyd.

How to watch: IGN compiled a playlist of its Summer of Gaming coverage on its YouTube channel.

GameSpot’s Play for All

What: Play for All was a multi-week event with news, previews, interviews, and more. The event also raised money for COVID-19 relief efforts in partnership with Direct Relief and for Black Lives Matter. Publishers including EA, Bethesda, CD Projekt Red, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Larian Studios, Google Stadia, Bandai Namco, Private Division, Square Enix, Sega, and 2K Games participated in the event.

When: Play for All began on June 1st and ran through the middle of July.

How to watch: GameSpot has a number of Play for All video playlists on its YouTube channel

Limited Run Games’ #LRG3

What: Limited Run Games’ #LRG3 was a digital press conference focused on news and announcements for physical video games. The event was postponed from its original June 8th air date on June 4th.

When: Wednesday, July 8th, 3PM ET

How to watch: Watch a replay on Limited Run Games’ YouTube channel

Ubisoft Forward

What: Ubisoft held a digital “E3-style showcase” with “plenty of exclusive game news, exciting reveals, and much more.”

When: Sunday, July 12th, 3PM ET

How to watch: Watch a replay on Ubisoft’s YouTube channel

Stadia Connect

What: Google hosted its latest Stadia Connect digital broadcast on July 14th featuring “some of the games coming to Stadia later this year.”

When: Tuesday, July 14th, 1PM ET

How to watch: Watch a replay show on YouTube

Summer Game Fest Developer Showcase

What: The two Summer Game Fest Developer Showcases (one in June and one in July) featured “a select group of upcoming indie and AAA video games” curated by Geoff Keighley and the Day of the Devs team, which includes Double Fine founder Tim Schafer. The July showcase highlighted a number of games, including reveals from iam8bit, Panic, MWM Interactive, Team17 and Ustwo Games, and also had a live performance of the Bugsnax theme song.

When: Monday, July 20th, 11AM ET

How to watch: Watch a replay on YouTube

Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase

What: Microsoft hosted a digital event to show off Xbox Games Studios games. Microsoft shared a first look at Halo Infinite’s campaign, revealed a new Fable and Forza Motorsport game, and showed a lot of trailers for new and upcoming games.

When: Thursday, July 23rd, 12PM ET

How to watch: Watch a replay on YouTube

Update July 24th, 12:19PM ET: Updated introduction and headline now that the Summer Game Fest Developer Showcase and the Xbox Games Showcase have happened and moved events to the “Completed Events” section.

Correction: We originally called the Cyberpunk 2077 event “Nightly Wire.” It is called “Night City Wire.” We regret the error.


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