After E3 2020 was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers are pushing for a digital event during the summer.
After the biggest gaming-expo of the year was forced to cancel it’s event for the first time since it’s debut in 1995, E3 is set to return in an all digital format for its summer 2021 event. Attempts were made for the 2020 event to go digital, but unfortunately the plans failed to materialise. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) instead set a date for E3 2021, June 15th to June 17th.
The ESA has already set out its plans for the digital E3 event, with two-hour keynote sessions, an awards show, and a preview night on June 14th before the expo officially begins. According to an exclusive report from VGC, the ESA will have scheduled meetings between publishers and the media, which will allow the media to have hands on demos streamed directly to them, with developers being on hand for assistance.
VGC also reports that although the organisers are pushing for an all digital event, but confirmation from the gaming industry’s biggest members is still yet to be finalised. E3 has already struggled to secure big names such as Sony, EA, and Activsion in recent years, and an all digital event may make it even more difficult to get big publishers on board.
VGC confirmed that long-time collaborator of E3, Geoff Keighley, will not be returning after parting ways with the organisers last year. Keighley is reportedly not the only big name confirmed to not be returning, after at least one “major games company” spoke directly to VGC and confirmed they would be running a separate digital showcase of their own.
The ESA is hoping that an all digital event will be the opportunity it needs to reinvent the expo and get big publishers back on board, but with a six-figure sum required to join E3 it looks unlikely to tempt them. However, a spokesperson from ESA has said “We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board” the spokesperson went on to say that more details surrounding E3 2021 will be revealed soon.