The Entertainment Software Association has announced that E3 2021 is happening this year, and it will be going digital. The online event will be held from 15 June to 17 June 2021.
Speaking with The Verge, an ESA spokesperson confirmed the news:
“We can confirm that we are transforming the E3 experience for 2021 and will soon share exact details on how we’re bringing the global video game community together.
We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.”
According to Video Games Chronicle, the ESA has outlined its plans for E3 2021, with intentions to hold multiple two-hour keynote sessions from games partners, an awards show, a preview night on 14 June 2021, as well as several small streams from various game publishers, influencers, and media partners.
The ESA is also planning on making it possible to “allow partner companies to remotely stream playable game demos to the media across ‘thousands’ of scheduled meetings” alongside one-on-one assistance from developers. Apparently, a six-figure sum is also required to join the program, which means that smaller companies will be less inclined to join E3 2021.
However, it’s currently unclear if the ESA members (consisting of game developers and publishers) will even support plans for an E3 2021. After E3 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, major companies like Sony and Microsoft have already hosted their own events, while Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest and Opening Night Live were probably the biggest gaming events of 2020.
In light of these juggernauts, can even the likes of E3 return and survive, much less thrive? Is E3 even relevant anymore in this new era of gaming or is it a remnant of yesteryear? If E3 2021 does happen, it will be a test of how what was once the biggest gaming convention on the planet will be able to continue justifying its significance in this day and age.