Geoff Keighley, the Man Behind Summer Game Fest
Geoff Keighley, the Man Behind Summer Game Fest
8:45

Geoff Keighley, the Man Behind Summer Game Fest

Video Games
Speaker 1: Hey everyone. We're at summer games Fest play days, and I'm with the man at the top. Jeff Keely. Thank you so much for joining us and talking to Speaker 2: Us. Great to be here. Thanks for coming to summer game Fest. Yeah. Plan E is a hands on experience around summer game Fest. We've done summer game Fest for, uh, this is the third year of it, but because the pandemic we've never been able to gather people together to actually play games. So this is really sort of traditional hands on of getting to go on play games like street fighter for the first time. And you know, we've been watching all these trailers online, people really wanna play games and that's, it's, it's what it's about. [00:00:30] It's about bringing median creators together to get a first look at games and do interviews and things like this Speaker 1: Too. You have a game on the show that really stood out to you. Speaker 2: Uh, well, good question. Um, on the show, I was really excited about the coastal protocol that we got to show, which I'm very excited about from the kinda all the creators of dead space, which is great cup had. I'm also partial too. It's, uh, Canadian, uh, developed game up in Toronto of course, uh, where I grew up and, uh, yeah, I was awesome about the show and it's also playable here and it's coming out in a couple weeks. So yeah, there's a lot of great games. And what I love here is that we've got big games, like a street fighter or Sonic, and then a lot of small, [00:01:00] independent games as well. And those are the ones that I think really benefit from these events more than anyone else, cuz they get discovered for the first time Speaker 1: Play days and summer game Fest in general is taking up like the E three S typical slot mm-hmm <affirmative> the ESA has said that they're playing to bring E three back next year. I'm curious what your thoughts are on E three significance these days? Speaker 2: Well, I I've been, I've been to every E three since the first one in 1995. I was a, a young kid when I, I went to E three and uh, look, I mean, there hasn't been an E three and I guess three years now. I don't know. I mean, yeah, there's, [00:01:30] they're saying they're coming back next. I don't really know if that's real or not. I love going to E three, but I think E three has sort of had a participation and a relevance problem over the past couple of years and look, we're willing to talk to 'em and hopefully it'll all be one big happy family of, of the industry, but right now, like we just have to keep focused on what we're doing. And like we showed up this year, we did this event. I think it's great. Um, you know, it's awesome to be able to do something and bring everyone together. And that's really important to me that we do this for the industry. Like we can't have years where like events for the industry are canceled. Like this, it just can't happen. Speaker 1: So you've mentioned you guys [00:02:00] are coming back next year. Yeah. Bigger and better. Do you have any plans on how you want to expand? Well, Speaker 2: Um, I can tease a little bit of what we're thinking about and I think Speaker 1: Our Speaker 2: View of where summer game Fest goes, I'm very interested in doing something that's decentralized and sort of allows fans around the world to feel a part of the show. And I don't think we're ever gonna have this one mega destination where we're gonna have, you know, 200,000 people show up in a city. Could we do play days in multiple cities? Like what would play days look like in London or in Tokyo or even how do we use, you know, digital and [00:02:30] cloud to bring more playable games to people and things like that. I think it's gonna be a digital first experience with a physical component. Looking Speaker 1: Back at some of the games trailers the guests you've had. Is there someone that sticks out for a property that sticks out that you still can't believe you were able to secure? Well, Speaker 2: I mean last year having the first game play at Alden ring was really pretty special and pretty amazing for us. The first year we did our kickoff live show and, uh, getting that from from software was pretty spectacular and that game could have shown up on any first party stage, pretty much anywhere they wanted. And they, they batt on us, which was really special. So that's the one [00:03:00] that stands out Speaker 1: To me. And then kind of on the other side, you've appeared in dust stranding, uh, the Muppets Halloween special. Is there a pie in the sky cameo that you would love to show up Speaker 2: In? Oh God, no. Uh, those are always awkward for me cuz I sort of, I don't ask for them like even dust stranding, I didn't know what was happening. I'm like, okay, sure. Like let's do it. Um, so no, I don't have a dream cameo. I would rather be behind the scenes, but I'm sure someone, at some point will do things. There was actually a game years ago, there was a game called blood too. And they put me in the game in a bad way though. Cause they had [00:03:30] something called the debit section. They had the credit section of the game, they had the debit section and they, they wrote a rant about me in the actual video game with the credits of it. Hey, to pull it off sale is, is a big controversy probably 20 years ago. Right. Um, so sometimes you're in games for good reasons, but you can also be in games for bad reasons. Speaker 1: What are your thoughts on NFTs? Speaker 2: Boy, that's a, that's a big sort of, uh, it's a big subject to unpack. I think the idea of digital art and digital artists being sort of compensated for their work and participating in that, um, compensation over [00:04:00] time as you know, art kind of continues to move through. Um, its life cycle I think is really interesting and it relates to games. I think the other thing that we're thinking a lot about is NFTs or blockchain, things like that. It's, it's a technology, but to me it's like, it's all about the gameplay, what's the game experience gonna be. Right. So, um, you know, I've yet to see a game or a game experience in that sort of web three world that has really compelled me to say, oh, that's something I would put on my show. Look, we're interested in learning about it. But right now I think we're, we're pretty [00:04:30] cautious about that space overall. And I think a lot of people unfortunately have been sort of scammed, um, as part of that, which is, you know, which is, is cause for caution. We'll see, I don't know you own and own any Ft NFTs. Speaker 1: Uh, no, uh, currently have no plans to own ant, but Speaker 2: Yeah, and like I look, I, I see PE I have friends that have bought that stuff and if you have fun with it and you know, go for it, like I'm not saying don't get in there, but I think you have to be very aware of sort of what's happening in that world. Some of the challenges with it Speaker 1: Last year at the game awards, you spoke out [00:05:00] against harassment and online discrimination. Yeah. It's 20, 22, has things changed. Have you seen any changes around that? Speaker 2: I don't work at these game companies, so I only know sort of secondhand what I hear. Um, but yeah, I think there's been movement in the right. I think it's moving in the right direction versus the wrong direction, but there's a lot of work to be done kind of cross industry related to this. So yeah, I, um, I think there has been movement. There's a lot more movement that needs to happen. Speaker 1: I would love your opinion on unionization in the space. Yeah. Maybe even, you know, Raven [00:05:30] software is a big key point there, Speaker 2: I believe in the rights of developers and um, you know, our shows are all geared towards showcasing developers and actually kind of empowering developers to have their work shown to a wide audience. What I love about our show is we'll have all these independent games and that's what I mean. I think it's, they're big companies, but they're also so many amazing independent developers, um, as part of the industry and the ecosystem. And I think it's really positive that a lot of developers now can leave a big company, start their own studio, be very successful on their own. Right. So I think that also plays into the kind of [00:06:00] equation, math of sort of what's going on inside of these companies. If workers want to be a part of something like that, I think you have to sort of support the workers and kind of what they want to do. Um, but yeah, it's, as you said, we saw that happen with Raven. Um, I don't know. What's I think there's even something maybe a <inaudible> in Canada that was talking about something, right? Speaker 1: Yeah. The contractors I believe. Yeah. Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly. So again, I'm not, I don't run a gaming company, so it's hard for me to, uh, to really be an expert on that sort of world, but yeah, it's, it's look, it's a potential thing that, um, could happen and, and it's a conversation to [00:06:30] give workers more rights. And I think as you said, there's a sense of maybe some folks had been exploited or not sort of particularly well, um, you know, compensated as part of their, um, you know, their sort of their package or what they're doing inside of a company. Speaker 1: So yeah, we're seeing a lot of consolidation, especially in the last year, Xbox activism. How do you look at that when you see all these companies joining up? Speaker 2: Well, um, I think it's T B D right on sort of, if it's a good or a bad thing, I think Microsoft coming in to acquire actions I think is gonna be a net [00:07:00] positive for sort of that company and that culture consolidation hard to say, like, I think of it, like it's gonna make the games better is you make the game experience better. And that's hard to say, what I will say is that I think alongside all that consolidation, there's a lot of independent developers breaking off building their own studios. Even in my show, we're having a lot of, um, games from non-traditional sources, um, coming out. So I don't think now it's like every game comes from EA activation, you'd be soft, all these big companies. And I think that's a really positive thing. So even though there is this consolidation [00:07:30] of a very high end of these, we make deals. I don't think it means that, you know, it's sort of monopolized in a way that like you can't make a game now or it's so hard to break through of any, I, this is probably actually the, the best time ever in the industry for new independent teams to break through. That's great. Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah. All right. Last question I had for you. Yeah. As a fellow Canadian, everyone I talk to you around here. No one's ever visited Canada. Really? Do you have top one, two spots that you would say to somebody? You gotta see these, if you visit Canada. Speaker 2: Oh, wow. Good question. Well, I love, [00:08:00] I mean, Vancouver's a beautiful place in Canada. I love, uh, going out there like family park, places like that. Um, and even just to Vancouver islands, the NABC, like all those states are just totally beautiful. Um, and the other place where I spent a lot of time growing up is, uh, cottage country, um, north Ontario Muskoka as they call it. Okay. Which is the, the lakes sort of north of Toronto and sort of lake Russo, lake Joseph and all those places. And yeah, my, my parents still have a place, uh, up there and I enjoy, uh, cottage country. It's beautiful up there and kind of nice. So, um, that's my other sort [00:08:30] of, that's more of a biased personal answer, but yeah, I, I love Muskoka as well. Speaker 1: Cool. Hey, thank you Jeff so much for talking to us. It was Speaker 2: Great. Thanks for coming to play today for Speaker 1: Sure. Yes. Speaker 2: All right. We'll see you on the next one. Hopefully. Absolutely.

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