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Steam Game Festival Renamed Next Fest, Offering Demos This June

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After celebrating its one-year anniversary in December, the Steam Game Festival is changing its name to Steam Next Fest in time for its demo showcase in June. The demo-centric event’s inception goes back to late 2019 when Geoff Keighley, host and producer of The Game Awards, revealed that the festival would coincide with that year’s ceremony. It seems to have been successful as the Steam Game Festival went on to feature thousands of demos over the year. Now, rebranded as the Steam Next Fest, the show promises to bring more hands-on experiences to players this summer.

The timing of the show places it during a typically busy season for gaming. The historically important E3 convention traditionally falls in June, though this year will see the show take a much different form. E3’s organizers announced recently that the show was ready to take the leap to a digital format owing to health and safety concerns which made an in-person event impossible. The event’s inability to pivot similarly last year led to the show being canceled entirely – with many virtual venues stepping up to fill the void. Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest was included in that list of competitor summer shows, and the gaming personality’s event is slated to return in June again this year.

Valve unveiled the Steam Next Fest earlier today with Geoff Keighley spreading news of the name change on Twitter. The event’s updated title, as the announcement explains, is intended to “more directly communicate its focus.” In its earlier iteration, the festival tended to feature demos for games that had yet to be released, and it seems that the Steam Next Fest will lean into that policy. Alongside the name change was information regarding the summer festival, which is set to run from June 16 through June 22. The nearly week-long demo-fest will include hundred of short, hands-on previews as well as live streams from the games' creators.

The Steam Next Fest announcement does not provide many more details on what to expect for the event, though fans may be able to set expectations by looking over its year long history. The festival, which kicked off featuring only a dozen or so demos made mostly by indie developers rapidly increased its offering during later iterations. The event in March celebrated its 40-demo lineup, while later festivals featured hundreds of games. Despite the increase of available titles, the event has historically maintained a large ratio of indie experiences. The upcoming coming Steam Next Fest is likely to follow this trend by offering Steam gamers hundreds of playable, indie experiences.

Changing anything’s name after a year can be a little jarring for fans, but Next Fest does admittedly roll off the tongue. It also makes sense that the team behind the festival would want to promote its purpose right in the name. Whatever it is called, it is good to see the festival continue, and with the Steam Next Fest hitting in June, there will hopefully be a ton of exciting demos for newly announced games to explore.

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