In one corner, a heavyweight legend of the game(s industry). After nearly a quarter century of showcases under it’s belt, many thought COVID had been the death knell for E3, but we found out just a few weeks ago that the ESA ain’t hear no bell just yet.
In the other corner, accompanied to the ring by former E3 producer Geoff Keighley, is Summer Game Fest. In tandem with The Game Awards, Keighley’s productions have singlehandedly dominated digital gaming showcases for the last two years. SGF capitalized on E3’s absence and the lack of in-person shows, and soon became the only show in town (so to speak)… But it doesn’t look like that will be the case next year.
That’s right, Summer Game Fest is going in-person next year. The digital-only showcase will still be simulcast online just like E3 in years past, and now we’re getting a heavyweight bout for the ages as the two shows will no doubt be jockeying for exclusive reveals and premieres – all while many developers like Nintendo and Xbox continue to host their own annual shows (no word on whether that’ll still be the case next year given the return to form for E3).
A major criticism for Summer Game Fest and The Game Awards has been the show’s format, given that both most recent iterations have been riddled with oddly placed advertisements and cameos. Need an example? Look no further than The Rock’s awkward energy drink and movie plug from this year’s SGF.
The ESA is in a unique position right now from a nostalgia, tradition, and competition standpoint. I can definitely see gamers and developers alike seeking alternatives to Summer Game Fest and the TGAs to get their reveals, so I’m sure it’ll all come down to the purse string holders to see just who shows off what, and how.
Any way you slice it, fans are in for a treat when this heavyweight showdown goes down next summer. See ya in 2023.
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