Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a variety of in-person video game events have been cancelled around the world. This includes the Game Developers Conference in March (and, later, in the summer), the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in June and Gamescom in August.
In any year, such changes would be significant, but they’re especially impactful in 2020, given the planned launches of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X this holiday season. With next-gen hardware fast approaching, though, the show must go on — global health crisis or not. Therefore, in place of physical events, most major gaming publishers have opted to shift to an assortment of digital presentations instead.
With that in mind, MobileSyrup is rounding up all of the digital gaming events that are currently scheduled over the next few months. For the most part, publishers are doing their own events, although there will be some overlap here and there.
It’s important to remember that plans are constantly up in the air due to the pandemic, so events may be confirmed or cancelled relatively last minute as a result. For that reason, we’ll be updating this story periodically as more information becomes available.
CD Projekt Red
The Polish developer behind The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is planning some sort of ‘Night City Wire’ stream for its upcoming open-world RPG, Cyberpunk 2077.
GET READY!? pic.twitter.com/eqQ3hMCOmA
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) May 5, 2020
It’s unclear whether this includes actual new gameplay footage, Keanu Reeves-like celebrity appearances, developer interviews or some mixture of the three. A specific time for Night City Wire has not yet been confirmed, either.
CD Projekt Red says the game is still set to hit its September 17th release date despite any COVID-19 related issues.
EA will once again hold its annual EA Play event in June, although this will now take place completely online. Specifically, ‘EA Play Live’ will be held on June 11th at 7pm ET and feature “world premieres” and other “news,” although the publisher didn’t provide any hints as to what these may be. Updates on Apex Legends and this year’s new FIFA, Madden and NHL entries seem to be a given.
— Electronic Arts #stayandplay (@EA) May 4, 2020
June 6th’s “gaming celebration” (Guerrilla Collective, PC Gaming Show and more)
GamesRadar, PC Gamer, Paradox Interactive and The Guerrilla Collective are teaming up to put together one big day of game announcements for all platforms.
This “gaming celebration” will take place on June 6th and kick off at 1pm ET with the Guerrilla Collective providing news and announcements “for every platform” from various indie and mid-sized studios. Check this out on https://www.twitch.tv/guerrillacollective.
A collective of amazing game studios and publishers have come together to create a digital multi-day press conference from June 6th-8th. Teams will share new games, debut trailers while celebrating the gaming culture. More info: https://t.co/Gja0ka2oxN #guerrillacollective pic.twitter.com/yoYDrsJfYC
— Guerrilla Collective (@GuerrillaCollec) May 11, 2020
At 3pm ET, the annual PC Gaming Show will be streamed on PC Gamer‘s Twitch channel and feature, as its name suggests, news from the PC gaming space.
At 5:30pm ET, head to GamesRadar‘s Twitch channel for a 60-minute showcase of indie and AAA games coming to console, PC and mobile.
Finally, the Guerrilla Collective will continue on June 7th with another presentation, while June 8th will feature related demos and developer interviews. Schedules for both days are to come. Some of the companies confirmed to be taking part in the Guerrilla Collective include Larian (Baldur’s Gate 3), Thunderful (the SteamWorld series), ZA/UM (Disco Elysium) and Rebellion (Sniper Elite).
It’s currently unclear what sort of events Nintendo might be planning. Given that the publisher doesn’t have new hardware coming out this holiday, unlike direct competitors Sony and Microsoft, it will be interesting to see what the House of Mario has cooked up for 2020. As a whole, the only new games we either know (or have a good idea) that are coming later in 2020 are Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (May 29th), Bravely Default II (confirmed but currently undated) and various remasters of older Mario games like Sunshine and Galaxy (heavily rumoured by credible outlets).
While fans assumed some clarity would come during the annual June Nintendo Direct, a recent report suggests that Nintendo is not actually planning one this year due to difficulties surrounding remote work during the pandemic. Therefore, the company may not have anything ready in time until as late as August, according to the report.
Because of these disruptions, it also remains to be seen whether Nintendo will still hold its planned Super Smash Bros. Ultimate presentation in June. This is supposed to formally unveil the next downloadable fighter coming to the game, a yet-to-be-named character from Arms.
For now, it seems like Nintendo will make individual game announcements over time, as it did recently with Paper Mario: The Origami King.
As it stands, Sony’s promotional plans for the rest of the year largely remain a mystery. So far, the company has only held a Nintendo Direct-like State of Play focused on PS4 samurai action game Ghost of Tsushima.
Otherwise, rumours point to a major PlayStation 5 reveal taking place sometime in early- to mid-June, although there’s been no official word as of yet. This would be informative, to say the least, since Ghost of Tsushima is the last major PlayStation first-party title that we know about for 2020. According to VentureBeat‘s Jeff Grubb, Sony is set to reveal many first- and third-party games during this June event.
Further, Grubb says a State of Play is slated for early August to show games for both the PS4 and PS5. He expects the actual look of the console itself to finally be shown off sometime between June and August.
In the meantime, PlayStation fans can get excited for The Last of Us Part II, which is debuting exclusively on PS4 on June 19th.
Square Enix has confirmed to Wall Street Journal gaming reporter Takashi Mochizuki that it won’t hold a major digital event this summer in place of its traditional E3 keynote.
Square Enix said it won't hold online event to unveil this FY's new releases around E3's timing because making assets ready for such show has become difficult due to Covid-19. Instead, it will announce new titles on individual basis.
— Takashi Mochizuki (@6d6f636869) May 13, 2020
Instead, it will reveal new titles on an “individual basis.” This means that Square Enix will likely divide announcements between different events, such as Summer Game Fest or those held by PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo.
Summer Game Fest
Running from May to August, Summer Game Fest is a summer-long lineup of game reveals, demos, developer interviews and more that’s being curated by Toronto-born gaming entrepreneur Geoff Keighley. Ostensibly, this is the closest that we’re getting to an ‘E3’ this year, as the event offers up a slew of gaming news from a variety of publishers, including 2K, Activision, Electronic Arts, PlayStation, Square Enix and Xbox. More publishers are set to confirm their involvement as the season goes on.
So far, the first reveal, ‘Sunrise #1,’ took place on May 12th from Activision: a remastered collection of the first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. A subsequent Summer game Fest event showed off Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5, which featured a tech demo of an adventure game running on the PlayStation 5.
All Summer Game Fest streams will be available to view live on summergamefest.com.
As part of the Summer Game Fest, Keighley is also running a summer edition of the Steam Game Festival, which will feature demos for PC games from various publishers, including, notably, Xbox. Follow along with that here.
With E3 now cancelled, the French gaming publisher is instead replacing its major annual June keynote with its first-ever all-digital event called ‘Ubisoft Forward.’ This will kick off on July 12th at 3pm ET.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) May 11, 2020
Ubisoft is promising that Forward will be an “E3-style” event featuring “exclusive game news, exciting reveals and plenty more.” No word yet on what might be shown off, but it’s safe to assume that Ubisoft Montreal’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will get a significant gameplay reveal, following a brief tease on May 7th. Further, there will presumably be updates on Ubisoft Toronto’s Watch Dogs: Legion, Ubisoft Quebec’s Gods and Monsters and/or Ubisoft Montreal’s Rainbow Six Quarantine, among other titles.
It’s worth noting that Warner Bros. was set to hold its first-ever E3 conference this year prior to the show’s cancellation, according to a March Kotaku report. Therefore, it’s unclear whether it plans to hold some sort of digital alternative in the near future. Given that the company is a confirmed participant in the Summer Game Fest, it’s possible that any of its announcements will be made through that avenue, although it’s too early to say.
According to Kotaku, this conference was expected to feature at least three major reveals: Batman: Arkham developer Rocksteady’s new game, WB Games Montreal’s long-rumoured Batman title and the Harry Potter action-RPG that leaked in 2018.
Microsoft is the only one of the three major console manufacturers that has outlined a roadmap of announcements this year, which it refers to as ‘Xbox 20/20.’ This will provide monthly updates on the Xbox Series X leading up to the console’s launch, says Microsoft.
See the future of gaming with the latest from Xbox. Every month until launch. Welcome to Xbox 20/20.
— Xbox (@Xbox) May 6, 2020
Xbox 20/20 officially kicked off on May 7th with an Inside Xbox stream showing gameplay from 13 Xbox Series X titles. While it’s unclear exactly what lies in store for June’s event, Xbox says its July show will focus entirely on first-party Xbox games like Halo Infinite. All of these games will also come to Xbox One, however, so it’s not just relevant to those interested in buying the Series X.
According to VentureBeat‘s Grubb, the June showcase will offer a closer look at the Xbox Series X itself. While he hasn’t heard anything suggesting this on his end, he also proposed that Microsoft could use this June event to reveal its long-rumoured Lockhart console. This is reportedly going to be a more affordable console with many of the Series X’s next-gen features.