E3 2020 may be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but reports of the annual trade show’s death appear to be greatly exaggerated. GamesIndustry.biz learned over the weekend that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – the event’s organizers – has already begun its plans for next year’s conference, which will be held on June 15-17, 2021.
According to an exclusive report by GameDaily.biz last year, the ESA was planning to turn E3 2020 into a re-imagined event that was more festival-like, similar to Gamescom, the biggest gaming-oriented exhibition in the world (Gamescom 2019 boasted 373K participants vs. E3 2019’s comparatively paltry 66K). With E3 2020 dead in the water, those plans – which reportedly include influencers and costly, celebrity-endorsed attractions (e.g., LA Lakers playing a basketball game with fans or actors) have presumably shifted to 2021’s show.
It was reported earlier that IGN would be attempting to fill the void created by E3 2020’s cancellation with its own gaming event, “Summer of Gaming.” Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Devolver Digital, THQ Nordic, and other publishers have already signed on to provide announcements and other content, but time will tell how it measures up to an actual E3.
Biggest gaming exhibitions / trade shows of by number of entries:— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) September 16, 2019
Gamescom 2019: 373k
ChinaJoy 2019: 365k
Brazil Games Show 2018: 325k
Taipei Game Show 2019: 320k
Paris Games Week 2018: 316k
Tokyo Game Show 2019: 262k
G-Star Korea 2018: 235k
E3 2019: 66k