Valve have announced the dates of the next Steam Game Festival, now renamed the Steam Next Fest, the same week as E3 2021.
From June 16th to June 22nd, limited-time demos for upcoming games will be available to all Steam users. There will also be developer livestreams, and the chance to chat with developers about the games.
“We’ve renamed the Steam Game Festival to more directly communicate its focus,” the Steam page explains, “Announcing Steam Next Fest, a multi-day celebration of upcoming games. Explore and play hundreds of game demos, watch developer livestreams, and chat with the teams about their games in progress, coming soon to Steam.”
The prior Steam Game Festivals had sprung up as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic lockdown orders, and subsequent cancellations of many conventions and trade shows. As many developers had lost the opportunities for people to play their games, Steam and others stepped up to allow these demos (and likely more) to be played.
Many had already considered these alternative direct presentations and limited time demos as an alternative to traditional trade-shows. Steam Next Fest also happens to take place the same week E3 2021 will; based on leaked plans from the beginning of February 2021. Recently, documents from Los Angles city listed the physical convention as a “cancelled live event,” currently looking at “broadcast options.”
As aforementioned, documents from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) leaked, with plans for a digital-focused or purely digital E3 2021. Those documents proposed the event would be live-streamed from June 15th to 17th. The event will also include multiple two-hour keynote sessions, award shows; and smaller streams from publishers, influences, and media partners.
Partner companies would also be allowed to remotely stream demos in “thousands” of meetings, with one-to-one assistance from developers. All of these proposals will need to be approved by the ESA’s members; made of the largest developers and publishers.
Former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé stated during an interview that the plans for E3 2021 “doesn’t sound that compelling;” and that someone else could usurp the event for their own. Fils-Aimé stated “If the ESA doesn’t figure out how to do this, someone else will,” possibly implying individuals such as Geoff Keighley and his Summer of Games.
Several of the above ideas proposed for E3 2021 bore comparisons to the events that took place in E3 2020’s stead. The game reveals, trailers, and interviews could be compared to the aforementioned Summer of Gaming, while the limited time demos may remind some of Steam’s Games Festivals.