Summer Game Fest: How and When to Watch the Event

The first half of 2021 has been pretty quiet for the video game industry as a whole. Only a handful of AAA video game releases arrived, but there were plenty of game delays due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Thankfully, the second half of the year should get much more interesting. That’s because two of the biggest gaming events of the year, Summer Game Fest and E3, are about to begin.

Summer Game Fest 2021 kicks off on Thursday, June 10. Here’s how and when gaming fans can tune into the event.

Geoff Keighley, creator of Summer Game Fest, hosts The Game Awards 2019 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Geoff Keighley, the creator of Summer Game Fest, hosts The Game Awards 2019 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. | Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images

What is Summer Game Fest?

Summer Game Fest is still a very new event. Geoff Keighley, the longtime host of The Game Awards, first launched the festival in 2020 when the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) event got canceled due to the coronavirus. As VentureBeat reported at the time, Keighley said in an interview with GamesBeat that he wanted a way to keep the industry unified during the pandemic.

“E3 was a singular week, but now that things are digital, we can pull everything together into a season from May through August for video game events. I found every game company scattered away from E3, but everyone wanted some unifying principle to pull the industry together,” he said. “I felt the need for it and came up with this idea and talked to everyone. It’s a great way to let fans know what is going to be out there.”

In 2021, the completely digital and free Summer Game Fest will run alongside E3, which will also be fully online and free for the first time. Game developers and other industry professionals will use these events to announce upcoming titles and provide updates on previously-announced games.

Here’s how and when to watch the month-long festival

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Summer Game Fest consists of multiple shows spread over the course of about a month and a half. On June 10, Keighley will host the Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live event with a musical guest and some initial announcements, which fans can watch on The Game Awards’ YouTube page (shown above), as well as the Summer Game Fest Twitter account, Twitch, Facebook, Steam, IGN, and GameSpot. The premiere event begins at 2 p.m. ET.

From June 11 to June 16, several video game studios will host their own presentations. In addition to watching on the Summer Game Fest channels, the presentations should also be available to stream on each studio’s platforms. Additional events will take place on June 23 and July 22. Check out the full lineup below.

  • June 10, 2 p.m. ET: Kickoff Live
  • June 11, 12 p.m. ET: Netflix Geeked Week
  • June 11, 2 p.m. ET: Tribeca Games Spotlight
  • June 11, 3 p.m. ET: Koch Primetime
  • June 12, 3 p.m. ET: Ubisoft Forward
  • June 12, 4:30 p.m. ET: Devolver Digital
  • June 13, 1 p.m. ET: Xbox + Bethesda Games Showcase
  • June 13, 3:15 p.m. ET: Square Enix Presents
  • June 13, 5 p.m. ET: Back 4 Blood Showcase
  • June 16, 1 p.m. ET: Steam Next Fest
  • June 23, 3 p.m. ET: Sonic Symphony Orchestra
  • July 22, TBA: EA Play Live

Here’s what gaming fans can expect from this year’s kickoff

While there are still plenty of surprises in store, Keighley did already give an idea of some of the things fans can expect during the live kickoff event. The party will include a performance from Weezer, who teased a Wonder Woman-style logo and what seems to be a snippet of a new song on its social media.

Additionally, Among Us developer InnerSloth will make an announcement about the hit game. Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War fans will get a glimpse of season 4, Evil Dead The Game will debut a gameplay trailer, and 2K Games and Gearbox will announce new games.