The cancellation of E3, plus the ongoing global situation with COVID-19 restrictions, seem to have prompted a major shift in how publishers and developers are planning to share game news in the coming months. The number of game companies now announcing digital events continues to increase, with the latest development being the announcement of an online event to replace the cancelled BlizzCon2020. Those plans are still very much in the early stage, but meanwhile, we’ve run through every upcoming event which has been definitely confirmed in the wake of E3’s cancellation, with dates, times, and how to watch included where possible, as well as those which have already taken place.
When is it?July 12th, 12pm PT / 3pm ET / 8pm BST.
What could be shown?It’s an “E3-style showcase” promising news, game reveals, and more. Ubisoft hasn’t given any more details yet, but a few major titles could be featured. Back in 2019, Ubisoft delayed Gods & Monsters, as well as Watch Dogs: Legion and Rainbow Six Quarantine, until Q2 to Q3 in the financial year 2020/2021, and it’s possible we could see one or more of these three games released this year. Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot also confirmed all three will be optimised for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. With both next-gen consoles launching at the end of this year, the holiday period would be a great time for any of these games to be released. Ubisoft Forward would then be the perfect time to give more details on them, especially since we haven’t had any details on any of those three games since the announcement of their delay — although you can check our Gods & Monsters roundup for more information on Ubisoft’s open-world “storybook adventure”.
However, Ubisoft’s most recent financial report also hinted at a new title for one of their biggest franchises, leading to speculation of a new Far Cry or Prince of Persia, or perhaps a new Splinter Cell game.
Where can I watch?We’ll update here once Ubisoft provides more info, but most likely you can watch on their YouTube channel.
When is it?Xbox 20/20 will take place every month, most likely as Inside Xbox episodes. Microsoft says all its events, including Xbox 20/20, will be digital-only until July 2021.
What could be shown?The Xbox team says each instalment of Xbox 20/20 will “bring something different”. The first episode in May had a mixed reaction: fans had perhaps hoped to see something more, and Xbox's general manager of games marketing, Aaron Greenberg, has since commented that they might have set some “wrong expectations”. Nevertheless, 13 games were shown, and the Xbox team promises that July’s Xbox 20/20 will focus on the games coming from Xbox Game Studios. “A number of our studio teams are looking forward to sharing first looks at new gameplay, insights from development teams being optimised for Xbox Series X, and brand-new game announcements,” the announcement reads. We’ll be seeing some new announcements, then, and possibly a more in-depth look at Xbox Game Studios games such as Ninja Theory’s Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, Rare’s Everwild, and Obsidian’s Grounded.
Where can I watch?Each time an episode begins, you can watch on Mixer, Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
When is it? EGX 2020 was today cancelled, with the announcement that EGX will instead partner with PAX Online for EGX Digital: a digital event running from September 12th until September 20th.
What could be shown?The press release promises EGX Digital "will be the online show that celebrates the very best in gaming from the comfort of your own home". The event will feature panels and sessions with developers, playable games, indie games, and more, with the organisers promising more details soon.
Where can I watch?The organisers haven't yet shared details on where to watch the event. It's only just been announced and won't be held for several months, so we'll update you when there's more info closer to the time.
When is it?Devolver Direct will take place on July 11th at 12pm PT / 3pm ET / 8pm BST.
What could be shown?Devolver Digital says the event will include gameplay reveals, release date announcements, and new game reveals.
Where can I watch?You can watch Devolver Direct on Devolver Digital's Twitch channel.
CD Projekt Red’s “Night City Wire” event
Night City Wire took place on June 25th. Originally planned for June 11th, the event was delayed to the 25th via a statement from CDPR following the Black Lives Matter protests currently underway across the US.
The event gave us a long look at Cyberpunk 2077, with a new trailer, new gameplay footage, and an in-depth chat with the devs. The new trailer gave us a lot to go on just by itself, and yet it only included footage from the game's prologue. We were given a brief run-down of the start where we meet Jackie and set out to find the chip of immortality, being introduced to "fixer" Dexter DeShawn on the way. DeShawn was highlighted as a "very important person in the social ladder" of Cyberpunk 2077, who'll direct you to quests, jobs, and contracts. We were also given an in-depth look at Braindance, a feature which involves "recording a person's experiences and then playing them back for someone else, so they could relive them as though it was happening to them." According to senior quest designer Patrick Mills, Braindance is a "global media industry" in the world of Cyberpunk 2077. The player will be given a huge amount of control over Braindance, being able to pause, rewind, speed up, and look around to further investigate things missed by the person themselves. It seems Braindance will play a significant part of story progression and atmosphere: it will lead you to "different mysteries" and function as a "keyhole" into the lives of the people in the city.
The devs also discussed points of interest viewers might have missed in the trailer and gameplay, such as the mention of the "7th district" of the game, the Badlands; a "dead, dried-out space" around Night City. We were also shown Adam Smasher, a "fully converted cyborg" loyal to the Arasaka Corp, first introduced in Cyberpunk 2020. We were introduced to Ripperdocs, who you'll interact with to "update" and "enhance" your character. The stream even served as an announcement of a new Netflix anime show set in the Cyberpunk universe: Cyberpunk Edgerunners, set to release in 2022.
EA Play Live
EA Play Live took place on June 18th. The announcement read that “EA Play Live 2020 is about connecting players around the world and bringing them closer to the game franchises they love", and indeed the event gave us a number of new announcements including Skate 4, FIFA 21, a more in-depth look at Star Wars: Squadrons, cross-play for Apex Legends, Hazelight's new game It Takes Two, and even a brief teaser for something that looks like Dragon Age 4.
Lastly, there’s the Summer Game Fest, which offers around “four months of events” and runs until August. The Summer Game Fest incorporates most of the digital events listed above, with additional events such as developer showcases and the Opening Night Live of Gamescom 2020. Although publishers such as Bethesda have already said they’re not holding their own digital showcase, they’re included in the “phase 1” lineup of Summer Game Fest, along with others such as Warner Bros. and Square Enix. Geoff Keighley reiterated that the phase one lineup doesn’t guarantee each publisher will hold a conference, and that they’ll “likely have different approaches this year to how they communicate news”.
That wraps up everything we know so far about planned digital events, but we’ll be sure to update here with new information on dates and times, plus any possible announcement of new digital events.
This article was updated on 01/07/20