The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) had no choice but to cancel last year’s E3 due to coronavirus, but the gaming industry’s most popular trade event is set to return as an all-digital event this year. That’s according to a new report from VGC, which received E3 2021 pitch documents sent to game publishers by ESA outlining its plans for this year’s conference. E3 2021 is expected to comprise three days of live-streamed coverage from June 15 to 17, among other attractions such as keynotes and awards shows.
“The ESA’s intention is to hold multiple two-hour keynote sessions from games partners, an awards show, a June 14 preview night and other smaller streams from games publishers, influencers and media partners,” VGC reported. “The broadcast event would be supplemented by media previews the week before, as well as demos released on consumer platforms, according to the ESA’s proposal.”
“The ESA also says it will allow partner companies to remotely stream playable game demos to the media across ‘thousands’ of scheduled meetings, with one-to-one assistance from developers. Many companies have used similar on-demand streaming solutions during the pandemic to allow the media to remotely play their games for preview purposes.”
The ESA’s plan for an all-digital E3 2021 still requires approval from its members, which comprise major games companies, but we suspect that they won’t object to what sounds like one of the better alternatives to a traditional show. In the event that plans fall through, gamers can still get their fix through Summer Game Fest, an industry-wide celebration of video games that was developed by popular host and ex-E3 collaborator Geoff Keighley last year.
“We can confirm that we are transforming the E3 experience for 2021 and will soon share exact details on how we’re bringing the global video game community together,” an ESA spokesperson said. “We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.”