Report: E3 2021 Being Planned As An All-Digital Event

Report: E3 2021 Being Planned As An All-Digital Event
Photo: Christian Petersen, Getty Images

Last year the Entertainment Software Association cancelled E3, the biggest trade show in gaming, due to covid-19 concerns. According to pitch documents obtained by Video Games Chronicle, this year’s E3 might be as a strictly online affair, with three-days of streaming content running from June 15 to 17.

When E3 2020 was cancelled, game publishers, websites, and Geoff Keighley rushed to fill the void with a seemingly endless array of digital events. The pitch documents being distributed to publishers and developers suggest a show featuring lengthy keynotes from game partners, an awards show, and multiple streams from smaller developers and publishers. The show would be further supported by media previews a week prior to the event, with playable demos available across multiple platforms. Basically, it sounds like the online streaming stuff we saw a lot of last summer, only somewhat more organised under the banner of E3.

Note that these are just ESA proposals at this point. The show would depend on the support of major game partners like Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Nintendo, all of which seemed to do just fine hosting their own digital events in 2020.

Responding to the Video Games Chronicle’s report, the ESA issued the following statement regarding E3 2021:

“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. We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.”


  • I figure I’ll be happy either way. Last year saw a drip-feed of interesting new titbits releasing one after the other such that it was a very interesting extended period of time, instead of everything shrinking the period of discovery and discourse. Problem with that was missing bits and pieces. You can capture a lot more when everything’s tagged under ‘E3 20XX reveal’ instead of hoping your favourite publications know all things at all times. It’ll be interesting to see how things go!

  • I hope this year’s E3 event in Los Angeles will be an all-out digital event because of COVID that cancelled last year’s event.
    I do hope this year’s event will go ahead now that Donald Trump is gone after he was accused of setting off a violent stop the steal riot in the Capitol building in Washington DC that has claimed the lives of five people one of them is a police officer and a 14 year Air Force female veteran who died after attempting to climb through the window inside the Capitol building only to be shot by a security guard.

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