By Noah Wortham
The gaming industry’s annual Electronic Entertainment Expo is returning in 2021 after the cancellation of 2020’s events due to COVID-19.
E3 typically displays upcoming titles by various publishers through press conferences and demos at a physical event alongside coverage through online livestreams. However, this year’s event, starting on June 12, will be digital only.
“We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, President and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, in an announcement on April 6.
E3 “will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.”
Those interested do not have to worry about a ticket price as Stanley Pierre-Louis explained that the “ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free.”
The ESA’s announcement also included the details of several publishers that will contributing toward E3 this year such as Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media.
Phil Spencer, the executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, tweeted about E3 and said that he was “glad to see the game industry coming together again in June for a digital E3. This and other summer events are proof that our industry is strongest when we work together. Looking forward to sharing what we have in store this summer.”
As for speculation on their possible upcoming announcements, perhaps there could be an official release date for the delayed “Halo Infinite” or announcements from their recently acquired studios underneath Bethesda Softworks.
Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America, also tweeted about the event and said “It’s going to be great to get the video game industry back together with our fans this June. We’ll make the virtual format fun and engaging. Looking forward to seeing you all in June!”
Fans can speculate as they await further announcements, especially since this year marks the 35th anniversary of “The Legend of Zelda” and currently the only announced game to celebrate this milestone is “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD” for the Nintendo Switch. There is also the upcoming sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” which does not yet have a release date.
According to a statement the ESA delivered to TechRadar, “Sony does not plan to participate in E3.” The company has moved away from the annualized event lately and has instead been producing its own “State of Play” presentations for their PlayStation console line. It will be up to Sony themselves to potentially reveal more information for their upcoming titles for the PlayStation 5 like “Horizon Forbidden West” and “God of War: Ragnarok.”
Despite its legacy and initial lineup, E3 will have of competition this summer as last year’s digital event “Summer Game Fest” will also be returning in June with its own slew of gaming announcements. “Summer Game Fest” established itself last year in the absence of E3 and was hosted by Geoff Keighley of “The Game Awards.”