The Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley announced The Game Festival, a new online consumer event where gamers will be able to play a dozen new game demos on Steam for 48 hours. After that, the games will disappear until they’re ready.
With this concept, Keighley addresses one of the problems for trigger-happy viewers. The Game Awards can get 30 million people excited about an announcement for a new game. But usually, those fans won’t be able to play these new games for a while.
For 2019, The Game Festival will launch a digital pilot program on Steam. The Game Festival will feature more than a dozen first-look game demos, available to play for a limited 48-hour window before they are removed from Steam.
“Six years ago I bet everything I had to create The Game Awards as a way to celebrate our passion for gaming,” said Keighley, in a statement. “Now feels like the right time to take the next step with The Game Festival, a completely digital approach to the consumer event space. Let’s face it: Not everyone can attend a physical trade show or consumer event. The Game Festival is designed from the ground-up as an event without barriers, extending the benefits of a physical event to the global gaming community that watches The Game Awards.”
As part of the pilot Game Festival on Stream, more than a dozen games are scheduled to be playable. Some of the games that will release free, limited-time demos include:
- System Shock (Nightdive Studios)
- Eastward (Pixpil/Chucklefish)
- Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus Games)
- Moving Out (SMG Studio/Devm Games/Team 17)
- Roki (Polygon Treehouse/United Label)
- Chicory (Greg Lobanov)
- Wooden Nickel (Brain & Brain)
- Haven (The Game Bakers)
- Heavenly Bodies (2pt Interactive)
- Acid Knife (Powerhoof)
- The Drifter (Powerhoof)
- Carion (Devolver)
- SkateBird (Glass Bottom Games)
Alongside the Festival, Steam will air The Game Awards live in 4K Ultra High Definition, feature The Game Awards Sale, and offer Steam viewers the opportunity to win a Valve Index VR headset and free game drops throughout the live broadcast.
The Game Awards streams live on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time, while The Game Festival runs on Steam from Thursday at 10 a.m. Pacific time until Saturday at 10 a.m.