Fledging online gaming event The Game Festival, which enables players to try out demos of upcoming indie games, will be returning to Steam this summer, plugging the calendar gap vacated by this year's cancelled E3.
The inaugural Game Festival launched last December, as an offshoot of the annual Game Awards, and gave Steam users the chance to download and play demos of 13 unreleased indie titles. The event returned to Steam in March, following a similar template to its predecessor but ramping the number of downloadable demos up to a whopping 50.
March's showcase was launched in response to the postponement of this year's GDC, as an attempt to ensure titles bound for the event would still receive exposure, and the Steam Game Festival: Summer Edition looks to fulfil a similar role in E3 2020's absence.
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It will run from From June 9th-14th – spanning the dates previously occupied by this year's E3 before its coronavirus-related cancellation – and will provide, according to Valve, "the opportunity [for developers] to show off their upcoming releases to a global audience, giving gamers on Steam the chance to try them out, learn more, and add them to their wishlist".
Once again, Steam users will be able to download and play a selection of demos, which will be removed from libraries once festivities are over. Valve is also collating a public schedule of live events – be they via livestream, chat, or community hub – for those developers wanting to connect with their audience more directly during the Game Festival.
Steam's two previous Game Festivals have been fantastic endeavours, providing a welcome opportunity to directly experience a wonderfully diverse mix of upcoming games, ranging from higher-profile indie offerings to some lesser-known gems. And if its summer outing is as demo-packed as spring's, it's going to be a very busy week indeed.