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The Games Festival will bring free demos to The Game Awards

Geoff Keighley expands the scope of The Game Awards to include The Games Festival, a bundle of free demos available on Steam.



Skatebird demo The Games Festival
Glass Bottom Games

Geoff Keighley expands the scope of The Game Awards to include The Games Festival, a bundle of free demos available on Steam.

The Game Awards 2019 kick off tomorrow. In it, Geoff Keighley will hand out awards to the year’s best games, in addition to dropping trailers for new releases to come. (We already know that Ghosts of Tsushima is one of them.)

It’s fast becoming apparent that The Game Awards is more than just an award show. It’s another sign of the power shift away from E3, for one thing, with Nintendo Direct (and Nintendo Direct-style) video presentations the norm, even during an awards ceremony.


Adding another arrow to The Game Awards’ quiver, Keighley announced today, in a post on Medium, a new element of The Game Awards: The Games Festival. It’s simultaneously an unremarkable name, a bit of a misnomer, and potentially an attempt to squat on a name or trademark that an actual games festival – in the Glastonbury, gathering sense – could be using.

But these qualms aside, The Games Festival is a nice idea. In conjunction with Steam and a number of developers, demos for 12 unreleased games are going to be made available for two days, to celebrate The Game Awards.

Here are the games:

  • System Shock (Nightdive Studios)
  • Eastward (Pixpil/Chucklefish)
  • Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus)
  • Moving Out (SMG Studio/Devm Games/Team17)
  • 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 played a few of these games already, including System Shock, Spiritfarer, and Skatebird, and we’d highly recommend giving them a go.

The Games Festival demo jamboree kicks off at 10 am Pacific (6 pm GMT) tomorrow, December 12, 2019. It runs for exactly 48 hours, which – if you can’t be bothered to count on your fingers – means it will finish at 10 am Pacific (6 pm GMT) on Saturday, December 14.


The Game Awards, meanwhile, streams live tomorrow at 5.30 pm Pacific, which is 1.30 in the morning in the UK.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.


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