Geoff Keighley responds to Summer Game Fest’s lack of diversity

Geoff Keighley at Summer Game FestSummer Game Fest

Summer Game Fest host Geoff Keighley has responded to complaints about representation during the event.

2023’s Summer Game Fest took the gaming industry by storm due to the cancellation of E3. The event collaborated with over 40 partners with video game giants such as PlayStation, Xbox, Square Enix, Capcom, EA, and Ubisoft.

Some of the biggest trailers that aired during Summer Game Fest included Nicolas Cage in Dead by Deadlight, Mortal Kombat 1 gameplay, and a video of Final Fantasy 7 rebirth. Other updates mentioned Call of Duty Season 4 and Prince of Persia The Lost Crown.

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Despite the exciting new footage, some viewers were unhappy about Summer Game Fest’s diversity – specifically the lack thereof.

summer game fest 2023 art workSummer Game Fest

In an interview with CBC Radio, Keighley discussed how some gamers seemed perplexed that zero women appeared on stage during Summer Game Fest. The Game Awards host claimed Melanie Liburd – who played Saga Anderson in Alan Wake II – couldn’t attend due to scheduling conflicts.

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“I think generally we do a pretty good job with diversity in our shows. That was something that’s a fair flag,” he said. “We also want to be authentic to the games that are being presented on the show and the developers that are making them. So yeah, I think we’re conscious of it.”

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Aside from onstage appearances, Clockwork Revolution, South of Midnight, and Star Wars Outlaws put women of color at the forefront of their trailers.

Additionally, some people slammed Magic the Gathering for portraying Aragorn and Galadriel as dark-skinned in its Lord of the Rings expansion. Summer Game Fest briefly featured the MTG set ahead of its June 23, 2023, release date.

“I weighed the positivity against the negativity and the positivity ended up winning. And now … I get more mail and more comments of positivity than negativity. A hell of a lot more,” Ovidio Cartagena – Senior Art Director for the Lord of the Rings set – said.

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