Following last year’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Entertainment Software Association announced the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will be returning later this year. However, there will be a twist to the 2021 convention. E3 will return as an online-only, digital streaming event.
Based on the announcement from E3’s official website, the 2021 convention will be an “all-virtual event” promising something that “will engage everyone, everywhere.” The virtual format will include the live press conferences that have long been an ongoing staple from the conference, along with a four-day long video stream.
Additionally, the 2021 conference is promising a format that will offer “unprecedented access” to the video game industry. It will be curious exactly how that will work, considering E3 would offer special early hands-on demos to new and upcoming games, along with exclusive, behind-closed-door previews that can only be viewed by members of the gaming media or industry.
According to the expo’s official website, game companies Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, Koch Media have all given early commitments to this year’s event. More companies are promised to come as well.
Along with Nintendo and Microsoft, the ESA said it secured early commitments to participate from Capcom, Ubisoft, Konami, Take Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media, with “more to come.” Sony, the other major gaming company, has not yet announced its plans regarding participating in E3, but has not been a part of the event since 2018.
Previously, E3 2020 was cancelled after major companies and parties began pulling out of the event. Sony PlayStation bowed out of E3 in 2019. Also, while Nintendo continued having a presence at E3, the company stopped hosting keynotes during the conference. Activision and EA similarly left E3 as well in recent years. Additionally, in February 2020, longtime E3 collaborator Geoff Keighley opted out of the expo.
How this new version of E3 will pay off and alter the course of the event in 2022 remains to be seen. Currently, E3 2021 is set to run from June 12-15. Interested parties can sign up for more information at E3’s official website.