Today, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirmed its plans for this year’s E3 conference. Rumors were circulating not long ago that E3 2021 would be a digital-only event, and now that’s confirmed.
ESA Confirms Dates for Digital-Only E3 2021 Event
E3 2021 will take place from June 12 to June 15, and it will be entirely virtual.
Those earlier rumors also suggested a “paywall,” or in less loaded terms, a cost of admission. It certainly makes sense, considering how much E3 charges most attendees for its in-person show. However, the ESA confirmed today that the online E3 will be free for anyone to tune into.
As far as the companies participating in E3 2021, you can expect to see most of the usual suspects. For example, Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom and Ubisoft have all confirmed their participation. The most notable absences of course are Sony, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard.
None of these are surprises however, due to years past being similar.
While many of last year’s E3 alternatives are still in place this year (NGPX, Summer Games Fest, Future Games Show, etc), there’s a strong chance last year’s messy collection of events won’t be as stretched thin this year.
E3 is a strong presence in the industry despite recent dips, and those larger companies (and others like Koch Media and Warner Bros) benefit from the draw and access.
Speaking of access, one of the more notable statements from the ESA is that this year’s show will be focused on being accessible. That seems to mean since the format is digital, more developers and publishers that may not have had the resources to attend in-person events will be able to join in.