Geoff Keighley says E3 was dying long before Summer Game Fest began

geoff keighley presenting the game awards 2022.The Game Awards

Geoff Keighley has claimed that the death of E3 had been coming for some time and that Summer Game Fest was created to capitalize on its downfall.

E3 has always been an iconic part of the games industry, offering developers and publishers alike the opportunity to showcase what they’ve been working on.

However, the last few years have seen more and more studios favor online reveals and pull out of big events like E3. This decline in interest led to the eventual cancelation of this year’s E3 which was planned to be the first in-person event since 2019.

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A popular sentiment in the gaming community is to ascribe E3’s death to the rise of the Summer Game Fest, but its founder doesn’t agree.

E3 cancelation was coming for some time

Speaking on the VGC Podcast (1:00.06), Summer Game Fest founder Geoff Keighley downplayed his role as the “E3 Killer,” instead believing the event’s downfall has been coming for some time.

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On E3’s downfall, Keighley said: “I think E3 sort of killed itself in a way with what happened over the years. I built Summer Game Fest because I saw the wheels falling off the wagon of E3.”

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Keighley admitted to being heartbroken by E3’s fall: “As someone who loves that time of year, I mean I grew up for two decades when E3 was a part of my life. As a fifteen year old kid in 1995, I went to every show, I loved it and it defined my Summer. It was so exciting to me and it’s heartbreaking to see that start to fall apart.”

Xbox showcase during E3 2019, the last in person event.E3
E3 2019 was the show’s last in-person event.

The Games Award host later stated that the two largest factors behind why E3 failed were its ongoing “relevancy problem,” and a “participation problem,” as publishers grew disinterested.

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Summer Game Fest started in 2020 after E3 was canceled as it looked to shift to an online format. It would continue to be hosted every year with 2021 and 2022 being a success, while E3 made just a single appearance during that period in an online-only event in 2021.

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