The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) have officially announced the dates for the purely digital E3 2021.
As stated in the press release (via email), the “reimagined, all-virtual” E3 2021 will take place from June 12th to June 15th. Early commitments include Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media.
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.
Documents from Los Angles city had listed the physical convention as a “cancelled live event,” currently looking at “broadcast options.” The press release states the digital event will still be “maintaining E3’s longstanding position as a central destination for industry networking,” and that “the digital format for E3 2021 means more people than ever can participate.”
Leaked documents from the ESA already laid out the plans for a digital-focused or purely digital E3 2021. Those documents mentioned event will include multiple two-hour keynote sessions, award shows; and smaller streams from publishers, influences, and media partners.
Partner companies would also be allowed to remotely stream demos in “thousands” of meetings, with one-to-one assistance from developers. The press release for today’s announcement mentions nothing of this, and all of these proposals will need to be approved by the ESA’s members; made of the largest developers and publishers.
Curiously, the documents originally proposed running the E3 2021 from June 15th to 17th. Recently, Valve have 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.