The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed in a press release that E3 2021 will return from June 12 to June 15 with an online digital event designed to “engage everyone, everywhere.”
The statement goes into how that the ESA has “early commitments” from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media to participate in the show with “more to come.” Notably absent is Sony, who forgoed E3 last year (before it was cancelled) in favor of its own digital events.
The E3 Twitter account also tweeted out the announcement this morning with a link for fans, media, exhibitors, and industry members to sign up for updates relating to the event.
WELCOME BACK! It’s been hard waiting quietly as we got ready for today, but we are thrilled to officially announce our plans for June 12th-15th!
— E3 (@E3) April 6, 2021
A look through E3’s website reveals that the Electronic Entertainment Expo is rebranding as the Electronic Entertainment Experience for 2021. It promises to give attendees “unprecedented access to the premier video game industry event.”
According to the website, this year’s event will be a “hyper-engaged digital experience” that will be “paving the way for so much more in 2022 and beyond.” It looks like the digital format will be a staple going forward, in addition to the traditional in-person event.
This news follows a report by VGC that indicated E3 2021 could be a digital event locked behind a paywall. The same day of the report, it was revealed on Twitter that it would indeed be digital but wouldn’t cost anything to attend.
E3’s 2021 digital show is a free event for all attendees. We’re excited to fill you in on all the real news for the event very soon. https://t.co/HzTzaQEosx
— E3 (@E3) April 1, 2021
E3 has had a rough go at it these past few years; 2020’s expo was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even prior to the cancellation, there appeared to be trouble in paradise when long-time collaborator Geoff Keighley announced his intention to not participate in the event.
Video-game merchandise company Iam8bit also shook things up when they announced they would no longer be serving as creative directors for E3 2020 a month following Keighley’s announcement.
E3 2019 was also mired in controversy when journalist Sophia Narwitz discovered that the personal information of thousands of journalists and content creators was made public in a data leak.
Narwitz described the incident as “a massive breach of trust and privacy.”
What do you think about the return of E3 as digital after skipping 2020 and coming back in 2021?
(Video created and uploaded by Sophia Narwitz).