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A Trailer Spot At Summer Game Fest Reportedly Costs At Minimum $250K

UPDATE 06/06/2024: Kotaku published an update to its report, where it stated indie developers reached out to clarify that while there are free trailer slots given to big games, there are free slots set aside for smaller, indie titles that make it into the show on Geoff Keighley’s discretion.

Original Story:

A new report from Esquire that was then corroborated by Kotaku provided a look behind the current at how Summer Game Fest operates, namely how expensive it is for developers to take part in.

Both reports cite prices for a trailer spot in the main Summer Game Fest show to start at $250,000 for a 1 minute trailer, with the price jumping up an extra $100,000 per 30 seconds more.

  • 1 minute trailer cost: $250,000
  • 1 minute 30 second trailer cost: $350,000
  • 2 minute trailer cost: $450,000
  • 2 minute 30 second trailer cost: $550,000

Esquire added up the numbers across the show’s regular 2 hour runtime and estimated that on trailer spots alone, Geoff Keighley and Summer Game Fest could rake in nearly $9.65 million.

That doesn’t mean Keighley walks away with a little under $10 million, the show’s own costs have grown now that it hosts an in-person component along with the livestream. It’s also not the case that every publisher and developer who has a game shown in the main Summer Game Fest presentation pays for their spot.

Kotaku also reported that certain publishers are granted “earned editorial placements” and simply don’t have to pay for their slots. The report pointed out Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo as publishers who would fall into that category, though it’s not a stretch to believe a few other big name studios have been granted that status.

Kojima Productions, for one, is a studio that springs to mind as one that might be not have to pay for its time. FromSoftware are certainly candidates for one of the studios given a free pass on putting a trailer in the show.

Speaking of the recently added in-person component, along with that comes a cost to reserving a booth at the show, or even just getting in. A “private meeting cabana” that’ll get six people into Summer Game Fest, grant them parking for the event, seating and table service will cost $50,000 for the entire weekend, or $20,000 per day if you don’t stay the full 3.

Individual developers looking to get in with a partner badge will need to shell out $500, and that only gives you access to the event on June 10.

The developers who spoke to Esquire for the report all call out the show for being expensive, making appearing in the show “unattainable” for smaller indie developers and publishers.

Those who do have the money to do it though seem to believe it’s worth the price of admission when it comes to how monumental it can be for a game’s popularity and sales.

Keighley did not return a request to comment from Esquire on the piece, and has yet to say anything publicly himself. It is curious though how players will begin to look at these shows, now that they have more of an understanding of the cost.

Source – [Esquire, Kotaku]