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Summer Game Fest 2024 has begun: these are our predictions

A weekend of gaming trailers, announcements and awkward onstage banter awaits

Published: 07 Jun 2024

The days are getting longer, there’s a whiff of petrol station disposable barbecue in the air, and the earliest murmurings among the nation’s most SPF-averse revellers that it might be coming home. All the signs are there. It’s summer, ergo: Summer Game Fest 2024 is upon us. 

Since E3 went the way of the Dodo – or the Daimler – SGF has inherited the throne and become the industry’s biggest gathering for announcements and updates on everything from triple-As to indies.

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You might want to watch a few of the livestreams over the coming days, then. You can find each conference via the Game Awards YouTube channel

A medieval Doom game reveal

The great games industry sewing circle has been circulating reports about a new Doom game set in the days of yore. You know, yore - when people wore suits of armour and were constantly catching the plague. 

Doom: The Dark Ages might well make a surprise entrance at SGF if these reports are true. Expect brutal melee takedowns, scored to the sound of downtuned lutes and aggressively bashed tamborines. 

We’re really hoping this one’s true. Id Software hasn’t properly explored medieval times since the first Quake in 1996, and that particular outing left quite an impression.  

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Something Dragon Age-y

Some say the fabled Dragon Age: Veilguard (formerly Dreadwolf) will pop up to raise the heart rates of RPG fans at SGF. As Eurogamer reports, journalists are hinting at an appearance for the next instalment in EA’s open world role-playing franchise, which would follow up on last year’s announcement trailer which told us precisely nothing. Except the name, which has subsequently been changed. 

Show us a bit of gameplay this time, yeah?

An ungodly volume of DLC announcements

Given the industry’s fondness for building on established titles and keeping players in ecosystems for longer, we’re expecting 90 per cent of the announcements this year to be about DLC.

Alan Wake II’s due for some. Spider-Man 2 is, too. Street Fighter VI will surely get a few more fighters, and if we’re really lucky, Capcom might also throw us an expansion for Dragon’s Dogma 2. Bandai Namco won’t miss the chance to remind everyone that Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is out very soon on 25 June, either. 

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Welcome to the live service age, where games never really die. But were they truly alive in the first place?

At least one passion mention of Hideo Kojima

Summer Game Fest is operated by the same team behind The Game Awards and presented by veteran games journalist Jeff Keighley, who’s handed at least 17 different lifetime achievement awards to Hideo Kojima now. If the entire showcase passes without at least a nod to the Metal Gear Solid legend, we’ll be more shocked than that time we figured out we had to swap the controller slots on our PS1s to beat Psycho Mantis.

Kojima does have at least two unreleased projects in the pipeline: Death Stranding 2 and a new ‘action espionage’ title called OD. We haven’t heard anything about them appearing this weekend, but with Mr Keighley onstage, it’d be unwise to rule it out completely. 

That awful silence during a keynote when the speaker expected a big reaction

Crowd psychology is fascinating, isn’t it? Once we assume a group identity and individual culpability is removed, it’s basically back to the days of Roman amphitheatres and gladiators shivving each other for a cheer. All of which is to say: conference audiences are a tough crowd. 

Before SGF there was E3, and at every E3 since time immemorial there was at least one hideously muted reaction to a joke that the speaker knew was going to kill. In E3 2007’s case, that reaction lasted the duration of Jamie Kennedy’s Activision press conference. The show began by introducing Kennedy as a “comedian” in speech marks, and that would be the kindest reception he’d get for the rest of the night. 

Brands are far too self aware for those kinds of shenanigans nowadays though. Or are they? 

If a presenter doesn’t visibly die inside when the massive groundswell of applause they were expecting never materialises, one at least one occasion over the coming days, then it was probably an AI presenter and canned crowd noise pumped in over the tannoy. 

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