The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed Sega, Bandai Namco Entertainment, XSEED Games, and more will be attending E3 2021.
While Square Enix had previously confirmed their involvement with E3 2021, the ESA’s statement confirms additional publishers, developers, and more attending. These include Sega, Bandai Namco, XSEED Games, Marvelous, Gearbox Entertainment, Verizon, Freedom Games, Devious Eye Entertainment, Turtle Beach, and Binge.com.
“E3 2021 is set to continue its legacy as the premier video game industry event as we add new publishers, sponsors and partners” said ESA President and CEO of the ESA Stanley Pierre-Louis. “We can’t wait to share more details about this virtual event for audiences around the globe.”
In earlier news, a business-to-business advert for Sonic the Hedgehog confirmed new games will be revealed in 2021 for the series’ 30th anniversary; along with a wave of new merchandise. E3 2021 would seem to be the ideal time for Sega to announce a new game in the series.
A German dubbing studio has also listed “Sonic Colors Remastered” in their works, along with a French store listing “Sonic Colors Ultimate.” This throws further confusion as to what Sega could reveal, as the characters are being recast amid Roger Craig Smith no longer voicing Sonic the Hedgehog and other major voice actors and actresses not making the cut. However Mike Pollock as Dr. Eggman will remain.
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) previously announced the dates for the “reimagined, all-virtual” E3 2021 will take place from June 12th to June 15th. Early commitments include Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media.
While Konami were initially reported as attending, they later announced they would be skipping E3 2021 as they were “in deep development on a number of key projects.”
Along with developers showing their latest news and games, the ESA once-again emphasized the event would be free for everyone. This follows initial reports that the event was to have paywalled content.
Valve also recently announced the dates of the next Steam Game Festival, now renamed the Steam Next Fest, as June 16th to 22nd. Summer Games Fest organizer and host Geoff Keighly also announced the date for the 2021 event; the same month as E3 2021.
Former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé stated during an interview that the plans for E3 2021 “doesn’t sound that compelling;” and that someone else could usurp the event for their own. Fils-Aimé stated “If the ESA doesn’t figure out how to do this, someone else will,” possibly implying individuals such as Geoff Keighley and his Summer of Games.
Before being effectively cancelled twice thanks to the pandemic, planning documents for E3 2020 had leaked online (utilizing influencers, celebrities, and “The Power of Social Good”), along with the public sneak peak of it being a “new and revitalized experience.” Creative production company iam8bit would later announce pulling out of the event, but this was when the pandemic was starting to take off.