“E3 killed itself,” says Geoff Keighley, not the competition from Summer Game Fest

Summer Game Fest host and producer Geoff Keighley has denied claims that competition from his rival event was partly responsible for the cancellation of this year’s E3.

Keighley launched Summer Game Fest in 2020 after parting ways with E3, where he previously held Coliseum live events. At the time he stated that he was “unsatisfied” with the plans of the organizer ESA for the E3.

In an interview on the latest episode of the VGC podcast, Keighley was asked how he felt about his reputation as an “E3 killer” in some parts of the internet.

“I think E3 killed himself in a way,” Keighley replied. “I understand why people say [SGF killed E3]but I think more like we started Summer Game Fest and I built Summer Game Fest because I saw the bikes falling off E3.

“As someone who loves this time of year… E3 has been a part of my life for two decades, since I was a 15-year-old kid. [From] At the first E3 in 1995, I was at every show. I loved it and it shaped my summer.”

He added: “It was so exciting for me and it was heartbreaking to see that collapse. I think they had a relevance problem, and then they also had a participation problem in the last few years.

“So yeah, I guess the question is what would happen if we didn’t do the Summer Game Fest? I think things would have really fallen apart this summer.”

Here’s my 15 year old at the very first E3 in 1995.

E3 meant so much to me and many of you.

Four years ago, I realized that E3 wasn’t evolving as it needed to be competitive in a global, digital world. So we started building what’s next. See @summergamefest on June 8th. pic.twitter.com/wSZqpz3wjY

— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) March 30, 2023

After weeks of speculation, E3 2023 was officially canceled in March, with its new promoter ReedPop (the company behind PAX) claiming that it “simply didn’t generate the sustained interest needed to run it in a way that’s the size , Strength, and Impact of Our Industry”.

Some companies previously committed to E3, like Ubisoft, opted to hold their own digital events instead. Others reportedly set to appear at E3, like Sega and Tencent, are expected to make an appearance at Summer Game Fest.

However, Keighley addressed suggestions that E3’s cancellation may have been hastened by the publishers’ decision to go to Summer Game Fest instead, and denied that was the case.

“I understand the sentiment that goes with it. It was sad for me that we had to decide to build something new, but we did it all in partnership with the publishers, and our list of Summer Game Fest partners has grown with the cancellation of E3 this year altogether not changed,” he said.

“Everyone we’ve worked with has been working with us for months around the Summer Game Fest. So there was a world where Summer Game Fest and E3 coexisted and we had spoken to them a lot [E3 organiser] ReedPop about this opportunity because they were much more focused on a big trade event and a consumer event, and that’s not what we did with the Summer Game Fest.”

When asked how it felt when it looked like Summer Game Fest and E3 were competing for the same pool of new game announcements, Keighley added, “I mean, we’ve never really seen that.

“E3 was canceled in 2020 after I pulled out due to the pandemic, and I kicked off Summer Game Fest at home in a guest room not knowing what I was really doing – we were just trying to find a way to bring it to the fans.” News.

“And then there was, as you recall, the digital E3 that they did in 2021, which I think was kind of an attempt to do something similar to what we’re doing. And then it didn’t happen last year, didn’t happen this year. So yeah, I never really felt like I was in competition with E3, we were doing something different. We focused on a big digital live stream show.

“I have a pretty good feeling about the Summer Game Fest. I think we have some really good stuff but you live in constant fear…” @geoffkeighley talks about coping with the expectations of one of the biggest shows of the summer. https://t.co/aKSSLzlZth pic.twitter.com/p7E0K7xGF1

— VGC (@VGC_News) June 1, 2023

“I think maybe in 2021 there was a little competition between what we were doing and what we were doing at E3.

“This year I thought we had a sensible plan that we would do what we did with a big show at the YouTube Theater and our behind closed doors press and influencer event Play Days and E3 would do that.” big trade show at the LA Convention Center with a consumer event.

“And I always thought it was probably too ambitious for what they had planned this year, but I was like, ‘Cool, if they can pull it off, great.’ We worked out the dates to happen after what we did with the Summer Game Fest.

“So yeah, I didn’t really see it as competitive – I questioned the feasibility of their plan, but if that was what the industry wanted and supported, I think people could have done both.” Some companies toyed with the idea to announce their game with us and then make it playable for consumers at E3.

“It’s a shame it went the way it did and I think it’s been a rollercoaster ride for a lot of fans in getting ready to go back to E3.”

“And the feedback is always hard to see when people say ‘bring E3 back’ and it kind of suggests that the Sony event would have been better if it was part of E3 or something. And it’s just the E3 that we all know and love and grew up with – it really hasn’t been an E3 in seven or eight years.”

The Summer Game Fest live kick-off show will be held on June 8th at 12pm PT / 3pm ET / 8pm BST.