After a Corona-induced hiatus, E3 is back with a digital only event.
[Updated 5/6/21 – Bandai Namco, Sega, and Gearbox have all been confirmed to appear at E3.]
[Updated 4/20/21 – Square-Enix has since announced that they will indeed have an announcement in store for E3, 2021.]
After some rumor and speculation, the ESA has officially confirmed that E3 will return on June 12th – 15th, 2021. Dubbed the “Electronic Entertainment Experience”, E3 2021 will be an evolutionary step for the ESA with live press conferences and reveals delivered digitally to fans and press alike. After a rocky 2019 and an outright cancelation in 2020, E3 hopes to reinvigorate it’s audience with a format that can be sustained moving forward. “This year’s event will be a reimagined and hyper-engaged digital experience, paving the way for so much more in 2022 and beyond.”
Heavy hitters such as Nintendo, Microsoft, Capcom, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Konami, Warner Bros, Square-Enix and Koch Media have all been confirmed for E3 2021. While publishers still have time to sign-up, notable absences include Sony, EA, Activision-Blizzard, Sega, and Bandai Namco. While EA has stiff-armed E3 for the past several years, Sony’s absence is relatively new and many industry fans have asked if this domino affect will continue for the beleaguered trade show. Some will say the industry needs to evolve and not be pigeonholed into one event, while others maintain that a focused event like E3 brings a rising tide which raises all boats. Whichever side of the fence you land on, it’s pretty safe to bet that the likes of Sony or EA will still hold a digital event very near the June timeframe of E3.
Late last week reports began cropping up that there would be a paywall to some E3 content. However, the official site confirms that the ESA will be working with media to “amplify and make this content available to everyone for free”. The ESA also confirmed via press release that they hope to hold an in-person event in 2022, but with uncertainty still swirling related to the pandemic, they had to move forward with the digital experience for 2021.
An all digital E3 will feel right at home for most fans, but how do you view E3 these days? Is the event a shell of it’s former self or does E3 have a bright future? Let us know in the comments below!