The history of the PC Gaming Show

The PC Gaming Show
(Image credit: Future)

Back when E3 was the dominant force in the summer season of gaming announcements, there were of course great PC games present. But the only big press conferences always came from console manufacturers and publishers like EA and Ubisoft, and PC-related news always came second to the needs of console marketing budgets. 

PC gaming isn't just a way to make console games look prettier anymore—it's a distinct platform with its own games, genres, and subcultures. And as PC gaming was experiencing a new golden age in the 2010s, it began to feel downright absurd that our favorite platform didn't have a stage of its own at E3.

For years we dreamed about what that PC-centric E3 show would look like. Finally, in 2015, we stopped dreaming and made it a reality, and the PC Gaming Show was born. Here's a brief history of the show's 10 years running and a little tease of what to expect from the 2024 PC Gaming Show.

2015: The first (and longest) PC Gaming Show

The very first PC Gaming Show took place in June of 2015. At the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, host Sean "Day[9]" Plott welcomed guests including Microsoft's Phil Spencer, Dean Hall of DayZ fame, Sean Murray of Hello Games, and developers and publishers from Blizzard, Obsidian, Tripwire Interactive, and Devolver Digital. Games and trailers featured on the first PC Gaming Show included Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Hitman, Planet Coaster, Enter the Gungeon, Fable Legends, and American Truck Simulator. And don't forget our Ode to PC gaming, a modern classic.

It was our first time on a big stage, but the inaugural PC Gaming Show was a big success. We brought the show roaring back in 2016, determined to make it bigger and even better—though, perhaps as importantly, considerably shorter than the original's patience-testing 2.5 hour running time. (Hey, we were new at this and got a little carried away.) 

Here's a playlist of 2015's highlights and segments.

2016: A visit from the legendary Warren Spector

Day[9] returned once again to serve as our charming host, showcasing exclusive trailers, teasers, and interviews. 2016's PC Gaming show featured games like Ark: Survival Evolved, Warframe, Superhot, Vampyr, Elite: Dangerous, and Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord (which came out just a little while later...).

Here's a complete playlist showing just how packed to the rafters it was with interviews, trailers, and reveals. 

And it ended with a cool surprise: The legendary Warren Spector made an appearance (you can watch it above), closing out our show to talk to us about the ever-brighter future of PC gaming.

2017: Sea of Thieves, PUBG, and aww, it's Ooblets

And into that future we boldly went. 2017's PC Gaming Show was once again filled with exciting game announcements for Ooblets, Total War: Warhammer 2, Sea of Thieves, BattleTech, and Forza Motorsport 7, along with many others.

Brendan Greene visited the show to talk about his mega-hit battle royale PUBG (you can watch that above), and Firaxis creative director Jake Solomon told us all about XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. Have a look at everything showcased in our 2017 show.

2018: Bigger than ever before

This year, Day[9] was joined by co-host Frankie Ward. Together they served as PC gaming's delightful ambassadors, welcoming Hitman 2, Anno 1800, Warframe: The Sacrifice, Hunt: Showdown, Two Point Hospital, Satisfactory, and many more. 

At this point, PC Gaming Show was more than a scrappy E3 underdog: It was simply huge. In 2018 it drew over 1.8 million unique viewers on all streaming platforms, surpassing Electronic Arts and Nintendo's own E3 press conferences. Pretty cool! Here's every single game trailer from our 2018 show.

2019: Baldur's Gate 3, Logan Marshall-Green, and Frankie The Shark

Frankie Ward wearing a shark costume at the 2019 PC Gaming Show.

(Image credit: Future)

The show went on in 2019 when Day9 and Frankie welcomed the creator of Telling Lies, Sam Barlow, and actor Logan Marshall-Green. Larian CEO Swen Vincke visited to tell us about Baldur's Gate 3, and Digital Extremes returned to the show to chat about Warframe. The show also featured Last Oasis, Planet Zoo, Terraria: Journey's End, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, and Tripwire's Maneater, which Frankie celebrated by cosplaying as a shark. Here's a recap of our 2019 show.

2020: Enter DevBot

(Image credit: Future)

2020's PC Gaming Show was streamed on Saturday, June 13, and things were slightly different that year. E3 was cancelled due to Covid, so instead of in a packed theater, the show was shot in a studio with a bit more distance between Day[9], Frankie, and the participating developers and publishers. Enter DevBot: A bot who stands in for devs.

Some things didn't change, though. As always, the show featured exciting new trailers, including a look at Valheim before it blew up, the Persona 4 Golden PC reveal, and a Gloomwood trailer.

(We accidentally forgot to run the Gloomwood trailer when it was supposed to, so it had to be appended to the end of the show. We hoped New Blood CEO Dave Oshry wouldn't notice, but he did notice. He's mentioned it several times, actually.)

2021: Hosts in space

The 2021 PC Gaming Show saw the return of DevBot, and the addition of a new host, Mica Burton. Also, they were in space for a while. Well, except for Frankie, who was piloting a mech. We might have gotten a bit carried away in 2021.

Or just the right amount of carried away? Highlights from 2021's PC Gaming Show included looks at Icarus, Chernobylite, Death Trash, Songs of Conquest, and a visit from Gabe Newell, which unfortunately cut off New Blood CEO Dave Oshry just as he was introducing the latest Gloomwood trailer.

2022: Our eighth year

There was no E3 in 2022, but that didn't stop us from putting on the eighth annual PC Gaming Show. Day[9] and Mica Burton hosted the event, showcasing over 45 games including Arma 4, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine 2, Victoria 3, Sam Barlow's Immortality, and new games from Klei Entertainment and 11 Bit Studios.

During the pre-show we showed off a pretty cool PC gaming project called Tales From The Hard Drive, a mini documentary series featuring stories of exceptional and interesting players we've interviewed over the years.

2023: The year of AI

In 2023 our host Sean Day[9] Plott dabbled with AI to help put on the show and ran into some entirely foreseeable issues with using it to replace his cohost Frankie Ward. Everyone learned some valuable lessons about AI this year, and Frankie made her well-deserved comeback after all.

Cohost rivalries aside, we managed to cram in over 40 new trailers in the PC Gaming Show in 2023, including Earthless, Last Train Home, Chimera, Sand, and Dread Pilots, and an exciting look at survival MMO Dune: Awakening.

2024: Our 10th PC Gaming Show

PC Gaming Show 10th Anniversary Logo

(Image credit: Future)

This year is a big one for us in PC gaming, not least because the PC Gaming Show will be running for its 10th year. PCGS will return June 9, 2024 at 1 pm Pacific (4 pm ET/9 pm BST) on on TwitchYouTubeTwitter, Steam, and Bilibili. You can also catch the show via one of our official co-streaming partners⁠.

As ever, we have a lot to show you, with over 50 new trailers and announcements coming your way during the summer showcase season.

PC Gamer

The collective PC Gamer editorial team worked together to write this article. PC Gamer is the global authority on PC games—starting in 1993 with the magazine, and then in 2010 with this website you're currently reading. We have writers across the US, UK and Australia, who you can read about here.