montreal games summer game fest Echo Generation Midnight Edition

A look at five exciting new Montreal games announced at Summer Game Fest

From medieval hack-and-slash to wholesome, hand-painted Montrealia, this city is bringing lots of variety to your fingertips.

Summer Game Fest, founded by games journalist Geoff Keighley in 2020, has become possibly the biggest event where games are announced, celebrated and revealed in the North American market.

The week-long festival, which took place in June, kicked off with the titular Summer Game Fest (SGF), followed by a series of themed and curated announcement events, including Day of the Devs, Women-Led Studios and Latin American Games Showcase. On the AAA slate, we saw the announcement for Montreal-developed Assassin’s Creed Shadows during the main SGF event, as well as the Ubisoft Forward and Xbox events that happened later in the week.

Games advocate and Game Awards host Keighley founded SGF to fill a void left by the cancellation of the industry’s most reviled gathering of devs and droppage of trailers, E3 (amongst other more B2B conventions postponed during the pandemic). For various reasons, E3 never recovered and is now defunct. In its place is the almighty, weeklong hybrid SGF where some of the year’s most anticipated titles are revealed.

The visibility, especially for an indie title during the main event, is real: the recorded stream has seven million views on YouTube alone, and that doesn’t include people who watched on other platforms like Twitch. A reveal at SGF could potentially translate into a lot of wishlists and some killer interest.

Below are just some of the hundreds of games in the spotlight during SGF (but by no means a definitive list of every Montreal-developed title):

Tears of Metal by Paper Cult

While publishers reportedly pay big bucks (upwards of $480K CAD) to feature their trailers in the main event, some curated spots are given to selected titles. One of these spots was given to Montreal studio Paper Cult, who announced their latest game Tears of Metal — a hack-and-slash co-op roguelike set in medieval Scotland — right after the announcement of Street Fighter 6.

During the Future of Play event, we saw the announcement of Echo Generation: Midnight Edition, out July 19 from Montreal’s Cococucumber — an award-winning, turn-based action-adventure RPG with a throwback feel, set in the ’90s.

Montreal studio Impossible announced the release date for Été, a relaxing painting game (set in Montreal) during the Wholesome Direct event. Été is set to be released on July 23 — and its stunningly detailed, hand-painted style will remind you why you love living in Montreal!

Été by Impossible montreal game summer games fest
Été by Impossible

The Future Games Show gave us the announcement of Happy Bastards from Clever Plays. Happy Bastards is set in a playful, parody-filled fantasy world. It’s a tactical RPG with turn-based combat in which you assemble and manage a squad of unruly, mindless mercenaries as you explore, fight and loot your way to fame and fortune. 

The PC Gaming Show announced the demo for Aloft, built by Astrolabe Studios — a gliding-forward, co-op sandbox survival game set in a world of floating islands. Craft your home, find lost knowledge, cure the fungal corruption and brave the hurricane as you gather resources and restore the ecosystem to its natural state.

Most of these games have free demos you can play right now, and if you withlist them on Steam and follow the games, you’ll get updates as they are announced. You can also get hands-on with dozens of Quebec-developed titles (including Aloft) at the Loto-Québec Indie-Zone during this year’s Comiccon (July 5–7). ■

This article was originally published in the July 2024 issue of Cult MTL.

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