Steam’s Summer Games Festival is now officially Steam Next Fest. Valve seems to have changed the name in order to make it clear the purpose is to showcase upcoming games, and it promises that this year we’re going to have demos aplenty to play. Next Fest is set to run from June 16-22.
The description of the event on Steam reads: “Announcing Steam Next Fest, a multi-day celebration of upcoming games. Explore and play hundreds of game demos, watch developer live streams, and chat with the teams about their games in progress, coming soon to Steam.” We don’t yet know what kinds of games will be announced, but if you wish to get reminders, you can sign up on the event page over on Steam.
According to Valve, it chose this new name in order to “more directly communicate its focus,” meaning the games that are coming next, one presumes. To give an idea of what to expect, Valve points to previous festivals, including the one in February. Presumably, the content of the show isn’t going to change, only the game. The festival started a few years ago and was intended to coincide with The Game Awards show.
Now, with it happening in June instead, it appears Steam is trying to capitalize on some E3 traffic. We don’t know for sure whether or not E3 is happening at all this year, but if it does, the smart money’s on it being a digital event, since the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of serious abatement. A leaked date suggests that, if it does happen, it’ll happen around the same time as the Next Fest. Whether this was intentional on Valve’s part would be speculation, but summer is generally the time when new games are revealed, so it would be in keeping with tradition if nothing else.