E3 2020 would, normally, be the center point for the summer. But these are not normal times, and this year you won’t be missing a thing by staying home to watch online. In March, the ESA cancelled E3 for the year due to concerns about the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Although the convention can’t take place, companies are planning livestreams, videos, and other online alternatives to get their big announcements out to the public this year even without big stages to do it on.
It won’t be quite the same without wholesome and cringey on-stage adlibbing or the opportunities for someone to shout “you’re breathtaking!” at some celebrity cameo. Still, companies plan year-round for the slew of announcements that happen in June and you can bet they won’t let the marketing machine grind entirely to a halt. It will just be switching gears.
Below you’ll find the dates and times for every summer game event: The press conferences and other livestreams that have replaced E3. Past that, we’ve laid out what games and announcements we might see during some of the biggest showcases of the summer.
We’re keeping this schedule updated with new show dates as events are delayed.
E3 2020: upcoming showcase schedule
|Conference||Date||Time (PDT)||Time (BST)|
|Night City Wire (Cyberpunk 2077)||Thursday, June 25||9:00 AM||5:00 PM|
|BitSummit Gaiden||Saturday, June 27 – Sunday, June 28||TBA||TBA|
|Warframe TennoCon||Saturday, July 11||TBA||TBA|
|Ubisoft||Sunday, July 12||12:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|Gamescom Opening Night||Thursday, August 27||TBA||TBA|
In case you missed it: summer showcases after the fact
Inside Xbox (May): The first of Microsoft’s Xbox summer showcases
Wholesome Direct: 55 wholesome indie game announcements and trailers
Black Voices In Gaming: Guerilla Collective’s showcase of games by black creators
Indie Live Expo: Another showcase focused on indie games specifically
IGN Expo #1: The first day of IGN’s main showcase event
The Escapist Indie Showcase: Almost 80 more indie game trailers and announcements
IGN Expo #2: Another day of announcements and trailers hosted by IGN
PS5 – The Future Of Gaming: Sony’s event for PlayStation games, some of which are also coming to PC.
IGN Expo #3: Day 3 of IGN’s announcements and interviews with developers.
Guerrilla Collective: A show of demos and interviews with indie developers
PC Gaming Show: Our 2020 lineup of PC game trailers, announcements, and interviews
Future Games Show: More trailers an announcements from our colleagues at GamesRadar
IGN Expo #4: You guessed it, even more gameplay and interviews with IGN
Upload VR Showcase: A showcase of 20 VR game announcements and trailers
EA Play: A lineup of EA’s yearly summer announcements
Night City Wire: A closer look at Cyberpunk 2077 with trailers and CD Projekt Red interviews
PC Gaming Show
The PC Gaming Show will go on! Our show to commemorate the next year of PC games will officially happen on June 13th this year. As ever, we’ll be showcasing some of the coolest games coming to the platform and giving lesser known projects a chance to shine as well. Last year we spoke with Baldur’s Gate 3, Borderlands 3, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, and a bunch of other great stuff. As for this year, that’ll be a surprise!
May 7, 2020 @ 8am PDT/11am EDT/4pm BST
July – unknown
Instead of one big event, Microsoft has decided to do monthly video events that it’s calling “Xbox 20/20” for the rest of the year.
During its May event, Microsoft focused on external studios developing games for the next Xbox console (and PC, of course). We got a new Vampire The Masquerade—Bloodlines 2 trailer, the next Yakuza game confirmed for PC, a very, very brief look at Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplay, and several other trailers and announcements. Alas, no word on Fable 4.
Although Xbox hasn’t given a date for July’s event yet, it will prioritize games coming from Xbox Game Studios. This might be when we hear more about the rest of the Master Chief Collection. We’ll have Halo 2 Anniversary in our hands before July so next up will be Halo 3 and ODST, which are supposed to be coming yet this year.
Sea of Thieves continues to get regular content updates as well, so perhaps Microsoft will give us a look at some longer term plans for the slapstick swashbuckler.
Xbox has now said that there isn’t an Inside Xbox-style show planned for June and that it’s planning something different.
A new contender for the year is the recently announced Guerrilla Collective, a show that will be hosted by Greg Miller of Kinda Funny Games. There are quite a lot of indie publishers and developers participating and you can find the entire list over on the official site. Some of the big names you may recognize are Larian Studios, ZA/UM, Paradox Interactive, Humble Bundle, and 11 Bit Studios.
Larian says it’s planning some news on both upcoming Baldur’s Gate 3 and still-excellent Divinity: Original Sin 2. ZA/UM have something to share about our 2019 Game Of The Year: Disco Elysium. Paradox may have, among other things, some more to share about tactical mobster game Empire Of Sin.
The rest is a mystery, though there are some good names in there who will likely surprise us with upcoming indie games that we’ve not heard about just yet.
Although EA usually hosts its pre-E3 event EA Play in person, it’s going online this year with EA Play Live. EA hasn’t said anything about its 2020 lineup, but we can take a guess at what will be there.
It’s EA, so there’s sure to be talk about its yearly sports titles. When it comes to ongoing games, it seems likely that we’ll get some talk about Apex Legends and how EA sees Respawn’s seasonal format carrying into the future. With Battlefront and Battlefield 5 wrapping up their new content cycles, we could see early announcements from those series as well. There’s also Anthem, which has had quite a rough time but BioWare has committed to reinventing. Now that we’ve seen a trailer for Star Wars: Squadrons, perhaps they’ll have more to say about it as well.
Time: July 12, 2020 @ 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT / 8pm BST
Ubisoft has now announced its digital event which it’s calling “Ubisoft Forward” for all the way in July. As expected, they’ll be delivering “news, reveals, and more” in the “E3-style showcase.”
We already know that Ubisoft has five “triple-A” games coming within the next year, which is quite a lineup. We now know four of them are Watch Dogs Legion, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Gods and Monsters, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
The last, we’re left to guess on. It’s definitely not Beyond Good & Evil 2, unfortunately. Maybe that Avatar game that Massive Entertainment is reportedly still working on? Probably not, but it would be quite a surprise.
Summer Game Fest
A bit like Microsoft, The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley has planned several months of events. Unlike Xbox 20/20, the Summer Game Fest seems to be even more dispersed with announcements being doled out individually from May through August.
It seems like these reveals and interviews will be announced a bit ahead of time rather than being laid out in a comprehensive schedule. So far, the most reliable place to know what’s up next and when is Geoff Keighley’s twitter account.
We don’t know Square Enix’s plans in the wake of E3’s cancellation but they’re sure to have something to share. The first installment of the Final Fantasy 7 remake is now out on PS4. Maybe we’ll get Square Enix’s official stamp on a PC port and a date we can expect it by. Perhaps they’ll even share when to expect the next part of the remake? (Haha.) Presumably Square Enix will also be gearing up for the release of Marvel’s Avengers, so we may see some final-looking gameplay for the superhero adventure.
In past years, Bethesda has held down a pre-E3 in-person presentation with music, videos, and Todd Howard’s bomber jacket. Bethesda has now said that it won’t have a digital showcase in June.
Apparently they will still be sharing things about their upcoming games (whew) but it won’t come in that big bonanza format. Here are some of the things we were expecting to hear them talk about.
Bethesda has already mentioned its intention to give players more information on Ghostwire: Tokyo, a spooky thriller which we’ve heard almost nothing of since its announcement trailer at E3 2019. It’s also planning to share more about Deathloop, the first-person action game about the endless battle between two assassins. The big Fallout 76: Wastelanders update is now out but that’s hardly the end of Fallout 76’s story. We’re sure to get some insight on how Bethesda is thinking about the online Fallout’s future after such a big, game-changing update.
Beyond that, will we finally see more of Starfield? Bethesda’s entirely new space-faring RPG has been kept largely under wraps so far. Same goes for The Elder Scrolls 6, which we are—at Todd’s direction—being very, very patient for.
Consciously odd indie game publisher Devolver Digital is no stranger to pre-recorded press conferences. You’ll know the publisher for the wild meta-stories of its past E3 announcements. Shortly after the news of E3’s cancellation, Devolver tweeted that it’s “bummed” but is planning “a livestream Devolver Direct / press conference and possibly more.”
Devolver has now updated to say that if all goes to plan they will have a show in July with “some updates + release dates on upcoming games and a couple of new games to reveal – all with gameplay.”
Bad luck for Warner Bros. Apparently the studio was planning to host its first E3 press conference in 2020. We don’t know what the Bros are planning now, but it would be surprising if the studio doesn’t find a way to share plans online. Rumor has it that it was planning to announce two games this year: a Harry Potter game and Batman game. More than likely we’ll still find out what those are in some fashion.
Warner Bros are on the list of folks participating in the Summer Game Fest, so it’s possible they may forgo hosting their own event in favor of delivering news via Geoff Keighley.
We don’t cover Nintendo Switch games around here but we sure do like playing them after work. We’ve got the Nintendo Direct details here so that you don’t have to go looking for them elsewhere. If nothing else, the increasing number of games with crossplay between PC and Switch players, along with recent cloud save compatibility between Steam and Switch for certain games, means we could get some hardware-y news about how your Switch and gaming PC will continue living happily ever after together.