Once upon time, E3 was the the premier show in the gaming industry where companies big and small came to show off their upcoming projects, hardware and software alike. While that has changed somewhat in recent years, it was still looked at this single biggest event in gaming. However, due to COVID, the 2020 show was canceled and though it seemed there were plans for a digital event of some kind, it did not come to be. For 2021, the show is looking for a comeback.
As reported by VGC, documents from the ESA, the association that primarily runs the trade show, detail that they hope to revive the event in a digital format this year. Pitch documents have been sent out to major publishers and developers, detailing keynote speeches, demos, streams from influencers and media partners, awards show and more about what this thing would look like. As it stands now, it seems nothing is for certain, but there is a movement to try.
“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 has 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.”
Meanwhile, some third party publishers have also confirmed to VGC that they plan on holding their own digital events, allowing them to save the exorbitant fees that would otherwise be required to get on the E3 docket.
Even before the 2020 event was canceled, the show itself had taken some hits. The biggest was that Sony dropped the show in 2019 and Nintendo had reduced its presence significantly over the last 4-5 years. In the absence of E3 last year, there were several other digital events to do game reveals and trailers. Nothing is certain about a potential E3 2021, yet, and it will depend on how many big publishers sign on as to whether we will see it or not.