E3? Rather E0! It’s the kind of all-out moan you might expect to hear at an E3 press conference – you know, if the games industry’s biggest ever marketing event was actually happening in 2022.
Yes, for the second time in three years, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has canceled its flagship event. In 2020, event organizers refused to hold an E3, citing the covid-19 pandemic. Last year it came back, but as a purely digital charade. Rumors of E3 2022 being canceled swirled as early as January, and the ESA officially canceled the event in the spring, saying it would return next year.
But the show(s) must go on. In fact, without E3 to suck all the oxygen out of the room, the video game buzz roadmap looks a lot like the 2020s: a series of disparate conferences scattered throughout the summer. Yay? Anyway, here’s the schedule of press conferences scheduled for summer 2022, which we’ll update accordingly as more companies announce their non-E3 plans.
Summer Game Fest – Thursday, June 9; 2:00 p.m. ET
The non-E3 season kicks off with Summer game party, a digital showcase in which the games industry’s fashionable man, Geoff Keighley, takes the stage to talk about “world exclusives!” and “world premieres!” between a slew of trailers for games we’ve seen before. Almost every publisher on the planet, from bigwigs like 2K and EA to slightly less wiggly, er, like Annapurna, signed on board for last year’s event. This year’s partners are TBA, so it’s not clear what to expect.
Guerrilla Collective – Saturday June 11; 11:00 a.m. ET
Guerrilla Collective, now in its third year, is a showcase focused on indie games. The last two years have been quite fun, with games like Neon Doctrine, Akupara and other quirky publishers. No reason to expect this year to be any different. It is immediately followed by…
Wholesome Direct – Saturday June 11; 12:30 p.m. ET
If typical video game pressers are concert metal, Live healthy is a fully acoustic open mic at your local cafe. Rather than big budget bombs, the event features lighter fare from typically independent developers. Last year’s event presented a handful of small games which hit hard, including placid fishing simulation Moonglow Bay and the breathtaking emotional puzzle Unpacking.
Future Games Show – Saturday June 11; 3:00 p.m. ET
Future Games Fair is a one-hour showcase presented by GamesRadar+. The publication says it will spotlight 40 games, mostly from medium-sized publishers like Team17 and Thunderful. Either way, in terms of game-to-time ratio, expect one hell of a reel of sizzle!
Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase – Sunday, June 12; 1:00 p.m. ET
Bethesda is now just one of Xbox’s 8,170 first-party studios, but it’s the only headliner for Microsoft’s non-E3 presser, the Showcase of Xbox and Bethesda games. Microsoft’s two big exclusives for 2022 were games published by Bethesda: The Space RPG star fieldand the vampire shooter developed by Arkane red fall. Both were recently delayed in the first half of 2023. Bethesda didn’t show gameplay either. Hmm, I wonder what’s going on in that press conference…
PC Gaming Show – Sunday June 12; 3:00 p.m. ET
Gamer on PClives up to its name PC gaming fair kicks off immediately after the event under the Future marquee. It is invoiced on double header with the Future Games Show, with promo text saying it’s starting exactly 24 hours later.
Surveillance Showcase – Thursday, June 16; schedule to be determined
Snow storm will host a showcase for his “is it really a suite ?“Following Surveillance. He’ll cover the details of what’s to come Monitor 2including the next PvP beta.
THQ Nordic Showcase – Friday August 12; schedule to be determined
Over the past year and change, the Embracer Group has quietly grown into a major game publisher. It’s not yet known if Embracer will start making its own splash pressers to cover it all, but one of its affiliates, THQ Nordic, will be hosting its own end-of-summer event. It will highlight updates on existing games—the commercial for the presser showed a glimpse of last year’s extreme average BioMutant– as well as pulling back the curtain on new games.
Gamescom Opening Night Live – Thursday August 25; schedule to be determined
So it begins, so it will end. Geoffstravaganza Summer 2022 ends with Gamescom Opening Night Live, which for some reason is scheduled for the second day of the Frankfurt-based gaming expo. Last year, announcements during Opening Night Live almost alone early February 2022 as one of the busiest months for hit games (RIP reviewers and guidebook writers). Please, Geoff, don’t do the same thing again this year. I’m sorry I made fun of your sneakers that time!