Due to COVID-19, in-person gaming and tech events and conferences, such as E3, GDC, and GTC, have been cancelled or postponed. The organizers of some of these events hoped to reschedule them later in the year, as was the case with Computex and GDC, but these rescheduled events have now been canceled. However, digital events have begun to pick up the slack.
Steam led the way with its spring game festival launched in lieu of GDC. The GDC organizers are also planning a digital event that will take place across the same three days in August as the original rescheduled event. Microsoft recently announced that it would have its own digital game showcase for Xbox Series X first-party games on July 23rd.
Microsoft’s digital game showcase is part of a larger Summer Game Fest initiative, which also includes an upcoming Ubisoft digital event called Ubisoft Forward. The event is set to take place on July 12th and will have two segments. The first of these segments begins at 11 AM PDT and will go over “news and content from games like Trackmania, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon® Breakpoint, Just Dance 2020, The Division® 2, and more.” The main show starts at 12 PM PDT and will cover “details from Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, Hyper Scape, and a few surprises.”
The entire event is set to be streamed on a number of platforms, including Ubisoft’s website, Uplay YouTube, and a variety of Twitch channels listed here. Ubisoft is offering free copies of Watch Dogs 2 and “the chance to earn additional in-game rewards” to those who watch the event. In order to receive the digital goods, viewers watching on Ubisoft’s website or Uplay will have to be logged into their Ubisoft account, while those watching on Twitch will need to be set up for Twitch drops. Ubisoft’s drops page mentions both Twitch and YouTube, but there are no instructions regarding YouTube, so it doesn’t seem clear how those watching on YouTube will receive the items.