The Summer Edition Steam Game Festival has been pushed back a week to June 16.
This is not the same event as the Steam Summer Sale, which is known for promoting game sales by offering thousands of discounts across the digital marketplace. Instead, this is a newer event that provides short playable experiences, such as demo versions, of games that have not been released yet.
The first Steam Game Festival overlapped with The Game Awards back in December, and showcased several indie titles like Skatebird, CARRION, and Moving Out.
Valve did not specifically say why this change was implemented, but the most likely cause is the continued protests brought on by the murder of George Floyd. Other companies, like Sony, Activision, and Electronic Arts, have made similar moves to delay content releases and other events to promote the protests over systemic racism and police brutality.
COVID-19 also likely played a part in this, as it forced companies to cancel or reschedule physical events, including E3 2020, which was scheduled to begin this week. Since E3 is no longer happening, there was nothing tying Valve to keep this date locked up.
This is not the first time COVID-19 messed with some of the logistics surrounding the Steam Game Festival either, as the second iteration was supposed to run at the same time as the Game Developers Conference in March. Despite GDC being canceled, the Spring event still went live.
The Steam Game Festival will now run from June 16 to 22, with a full list of participating developers and games to be announced soon.