I first saw Geoff Keighley on G4TV back in my early teens and after noting his passion for games, his quirky presentation, and his overall excitement to share some good news, I knew I had finally found some long lost brother who became infinitely more successful than me, and rightly so. Geoff’s been an icon in the entertainment and gaming industry for the last two decades and while his reputation precedes him, there still never seems to be a shortage of excitement when he hits the stage to share a famous WORLD PREMIERE.
The landscape of the gaming industry and how information on new titles and exclusive footage would be disseminated has drastically changed, and when Geoff caught wind of it in 2014, he went into his own pocket to create, fund, and produce The Game Awards, an all-digital award show for the gaming industry.
In 2020, Geoff shocked the gaming world by announcing that he wouldn’t be attending E3, the biggest expo for gaming and tech, though no reason was given and no shade directed his way for the most part. The move was taken as a calculated one, highlighting the significant initiatives in gaming Geoff has committed himself to time and again. What followed later that year was a project he himself spearheaded, chock-full of some of the industry’s biggest names: Summer Game Fest. It was hype, it was free, and above all, it was digital, something Geoff knew would make it the most accommodating and engaging experience for fans and gamers the world over, considering the damage done by the pandemic.
This year’s Summer Game Fest was no different; Borderlands developer announced that Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands will arrive in early 2022, Metal Slug Tactics appeared to revitalize a classic, Amazon Games said they’re localizing the long-awaited Korean MMORPG Lost Ark for the US, and the mastermind Hideo Kojima himself made an appearance and announced, through a thoughtful series of monologues, that Death Stranding Director’s Cut would be coming to the PS5.
Among the many bombshell announcements, a collaboration between Stranger Things and the popular battle arena game Smite appeared, more Fast & Furious vehicles were showcased for Rocket League ahead of F9, and Overwatch‘s director showcased some sweet skins and visuals for heroes Baptiste and Sombra.
The festival reminded me of the excitement of gaming news and exclusive content, and it also showed how far the industry has come when influenced by visionaries like Geoff Keighley. There are still countless strides to be had when we think of the grand scope of video games and their audience and the impact of one on the other, but if it’s any indication, the direction we’re heading is a lot more promising when the right people are leading it.