In 2020, the E3 show was canceled for the year, replaced by a constellation of summer events by publishers and media giants, especially the Summer Game Fest. Usually, E3 is a major in-person event in June in Los Angeles to show off hardware and games to the press, buyers, and the public.
Going by a recent report from Video Game Chronicle (VGC), it’s possible that E3 2021 will be presented in a digital/online format. VGC reviewed pitch documents from the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), who organizes E3, sent to game publishers, who might participate in the show experience. Based on ESA’s proposal, VGC writes that the ESA intends to organize multiple two-hour sessions from games partners, host an awards show, a preview night, and include several streams from games publishers, influencers and media partners. Media previews would begin the week before, amplified by demos released on different platforms.
The broadcast event would be supplemented by media previews the week before, as well as demos released on consumer platforms, according to the ESA’s proposal.
But, it’s not like the ESA didn’t signal a retooled form of E3 since spring of last year. GamesIndustry.biz, the ESA had notified partners that, after 2020’s cancellation, a ‘reimagined’ version of E3 was in the works for this year, along with the dates for 2021: June 15-17, 2021.
Given that other many other larger gaming and technology events, such as January’s CES 2021, have been hosted online in the last year, to varying degrees of success, there’s no reason to believe the ESA can’t theoretically do the same. Also, after years of losing publishers to host their own events among other issues, ESA no doubt wants E3 to stay on-radar and deliver an interesting, relevant experience. Also, whether the major gaming publishers and platforms will get behind the event as it may be presently conceived and support it, that’s a question yet to be determined.
We’ll be looking out for any further news from ESA that confirms or denies the current information about E3 2021.