The Game Awards always come with a lot of announcements of upcoming games. But this year, you won't just see what's coming—you'll get to play it, too.
The Game Festival is a 48-hour digital event where several games will have demos available on Steam for a limited time only. Starting on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. PT, the previews will go live and 48 hours later on Saturday, they'll disappear from Steam.
It oddly emulates a trade show, with short hands-on previews you'd expect to see at a convention like E3. But instead of waiting in lines for hours to check out how an upcoming game is coming along, you can just boot up your PC and play it.
"Let's face it: Not everyone can attend a physical trade show or consumer event," Geoff Keighley, creator of The Game Awards, says in a press release. "The Game Festival is designed from the ground-up as an event without barriers, extending the benefits of a physical event to the global gaming community that watches The Game Awards."
More than a dozen games are set for the preview period. Here's the list:
The Game Festival's Launch Lineup
- System Shock (Nightdive Studios)
- Eastward (Pixpil / Chucklefish)
- Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus)
- Moving Out (SMG Studio / Devm Games / Team 17)
- Röki (Polygon Treehouse / United Label)
- Chicory (Greg Lobanov)
- Wooden Nickel (Brain&Brain)
- Haven (The Game Bakers)
- Heavenly Bodies (2pt Interactive)
- Acid Knife (Powerhoof)
- The Drifter (Powerhoof)
- Carrion (Phobia / Devolver)
- SkateBird (Glass Bottom Games)
We've seen a few of these games at shows already, like the soothing management sim Spiritfarer and the romantic role-playing game Haven. (I recommend you check both out, by the way.) But with demos for some notable games like System Shock and Eastward, there will be a good deal to play for 48 hours. I'm definitely looking forward to some sick bird-board flips.
The Game Awards 2019 will air tomorrow, Dec. 12, at 5:30 p.m. PT / 8:30 p.m. ET on Twitch and other streaming platforms.