E3 organizer The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is planning an all-digital E3 2021 event this year. However, the ESA still requires the backing of some major game companies and publishers before they are able to confirm and secure the event. Previously, the ESA has successfully hosted The Electonic Entertainment Expo (E3) every year at the Los Angeles Convention Center but given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this is no longer possible.
The ESA was forced to cancel E3 2020 last year due to the forced lockdowns which saw not only the United States but other countries plunge into a lockdown in the middle of the year. This prevented travel to and from the US as well as restrictions on hosting conventions. Unfortunately, the ESA did not have enough time to put together a digital replacement in 2020 but promised users a “reimagined” E3 in 2021.
The ESA has now outlined its plans for this year’s event which will see the all-digital E3 2021 span across three days. The live coverage will take place between 15-17 June 2021 and will be streamed online. As it stands E3 2021 will include multiple two-hour keynote sessions organized between the ESA and its possible partners. There will also be an awards show and on 14 June 2021, a preview night.
The ESA plans to go big by providing game demos to consumers which could be released across different hardware such as PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. The plan is to also provide interviews and presentation sessions to media in order to plan and produce coverage for certain titles. In addition, the ESA wants to make it possible to remotely stream playable demos to media across a handful of sessions in order for them to get hands-on time with upcoming games.
While this whole plan sounds great, the ESA still lacks the backing of publishers as well as its members. As it stands, E3 2021 is still in its proposal phase. Should companies jump on board and the proposal gets enough support, then we could see the all-digital event kick off in June.