As we get further and further in 2021, gaming conventions have to decide whether or not to go forward with an in-person or virtual event as the underlying threat of the coronavirus pandemic has not gone away as of yet. E3 2020 was canceled back in March and soon after, the organizers decided to not create a virtual substitute. However, recently the E3 organizers, the Entertainment Software Association, or ESA, have released some news concerning 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.
Currently, it appears that ESA is pushing forward with hosting a digital E3 event. However, they are still waiting on their members, which are major game companies, to back the event. Even before the pandemic, large backers like EA and Sony decided to forgo E3 2019 in favor of having their own events. If plans do end up going ahead, E3 2021 will be taking place mid-summer, from June 15 to 17. ESA, in a release to VGC, have said they plan to have multiple two-hour long keynotes and an award show, on top of other smaller streams from game companies and partners. In addition, demos will be released to the public during the E3 2021 window for people to test out at home. To be clear, the ESA has not, as of yet, canceled plans for an in-person E3 event, but they are currently more focused on planning for a digital event.
This announcement comes after other major conventions releasing their current plans for 2021. So far, Blizzard has announced that BlizzConline will be taking place virtually in February and PAX Expo released 2021 dates for in-person conventions.