E3 is a gaming expo that has long been a major part of the community. Unfortunately, with scandals in its leadership and problems caused by COVID-19, it goes without saying that E3 has been in a tight space for quite a while. However, it is making a return in 2021, though it will be in a different capacity than it was before.
There was a teaser of sorts last week, but the Entertainment Software Association has officially announced their plans for the upcoming E3, which they have described as “reimagined” and “all-virtual.” This year, this all-virtual event is going to be from June 12-15. Many of gaming’s most well-known and beloved names have already signed up to make an appearance in some regard or another, including but not limited to; Xbox, Capcom Nintendo, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Konami, Koch Media, Take-Two, and Konami. The ESA mentioned that more companies will likely join at a later date. It is unclear if these other names will include Electronic Arts or PlayStation, however, since neither of them has attended the event in several years.
While it’s true that this year’s E3 will be completely digital, meaning there will be no physical event for anyone to attend, that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to try and reach even further than it has before. For a very long period of time, E3 was an event only available to press, developers, and other high-ranking, official members of the gaming industry. But in more recent years, E3 was opened to the public, making it far more accessible as a physical event. All digital it may be this year, but the event is still progressing in this regard.
The ESA stated that game developers will be showing off the “latest news and games directly to fans around the world” in the digital format being planned this time around. The organization also mentioned that it will work with a variety of media partners to broadcast the event, which is going to be free for everyone. This is good to hear since there were rumors that the ESA could be charging for the event. That said, we can’t say for certain how much advertisement or promotional content will be involved.
ESA president and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said that, despite the digital format this year, he intends for E3 to be a major and significant event, just as it has always been.
“For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer, while uniting the world through games,” he said. “We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.”
According to the ESA, the digital structure of this year’s E3 will allow “more people than ever” to participate in the event. The organization agreed to the notion that E3 isn’t just about showcasing games but also being a forum for individuals and groups to make professional connections. While they didn’t provide any details as to how exactly, the ESA did say that this would be somehow maintained.
All of that said, even though E3 2021 is roughly three months away, the announcement from the ESA didn’t really provide any information about the actual format of the show, other than the fact that it will be digital. There is no information about how the programming will be day-to-day.
The only other news is that the ESA did say they wanted to hold a physical event for 2022. But other than that detail, we don’t really know that much about it.