The Entertainment Software Association’s big yearly showcase, E3, has gone all digital for 2021 in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Using an online portal and an app to gather fans to the right digital space, brands like Bandai Namco and Square Enix will be utilizing virtual exhibitor booths, featuring special events and VOD content.
So how does it work?
While not all of the specific dates have yet been announced, the organisers behind E3 have tried to keep everything as close to the usual one-week duration as possible whilst also making the move to a fully digital event.
The CEO of the ESA, Stanley Pierre-Louis said: “The result is a bespoke online portal and app that will allow fans, media, and industry professionals to have an E3 experience designed to run parallel to the four-day broadcast, laying the foundation for interactive E3 elements to continue beyond this year’s all-virtual show.”
Aside from a few fringe events, the main body of E3 will run from June 12 – 15. A video live stream will be available throughout all of these events, along with forums and ‘lounges’ that try to enhance the social aspect.
A few events fall outside of that, but if you are registered and have the app, it should all be pretty straightforward.
Who will be there?
Several companies have already been announced for E3 including Nintendo, Xbox, Warner Bros, Square Enix, Bandai Namco, Ubisoft, Capcom, Sega, Freedom Games, Turtle Beach, Take-Two, Koch Media, and Gearbox.
Konami has announced they will not be there, but assured fans they are “in deep development on a number of key projects”.
The official E3 live broadcast will also be included on the online E3 2021 portal and app, hosted by Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez, Jacki Jing, and Greg Miller, where viewers can expect “major publisher showcases, press conferences, industry panels, extended live streams, and special guest appearances”.
Games from all genres and from across the world will be announced, showcased, and discussed – making June a huge month for gamers of all kinds.
How do I get to see it?
The ESA has said people wishing to attend must register online for free from June 3. However, for most of the press conferences, you’ll be able to see these on Twitch. This is especially true for the events taking place in June that aren’t explicitly part of E3.
June 5 – Indie Live Expo – 10am BST
In its third annual iteration, the Indie Live Expo will focus on Asian-market indie games.
June 5 – Guerrilla Collective 2 (Day One) – 4pm BST AND June 12 – Guerrilla Collective 2 (Day Two) – 4pm BST
This fast-paced showcase will feature over 80 games between the two days, with announced partners including 505 Games, Akupara Games, tinyBuild, All in! Games, Superhot, Fellow Traveller, Good Shepherd, Graffiti Games, Humble Games, Headup, Goblinz Studio, Hypetrain Digital, Innersloth, and Neon Doctrine.
June 5 – Black Voices In Gaming – 6pm BST
Highlighting Black creators, professionals, and characters in gaming.
June 10 – Summer Game Fest Kick-Off Live – 7pm BST
Hosted by Geoff Keighley, the Kick-Off Live show is a space for “premiere” game announcements alongside a new “stream-safe game soundtrack song” from Weezer.
June 12 – Wholesome Direct – 6pm BST
Bringing this years’ pick of sweet and soothing games.
June 12 – Ubisoft Forward – 8pm BST
Although there are no firm announcement details just yet, updates on franchises like Rainbow Six and Far Cry are likely.
June 13 – The PC Gaming Show – Time TBA
This show focuses on PC games, courtesy of PC Gamer. A time and content schedule has not yet been announced.
June 13 – The Future Games Show – Time TBA
Hosted by GamesRadar, the Future Games Show is the counterpart of the PC Gaming Show, exhibiting console and mobile announcements. A time and content schedule has not yet been announced.
June 14th – Limited Run Games – 9pm BST
Limited Run Games will be holding an hour-long E3 2021 press conference that promises 25 announcements centered on classic and indie games. This will more than likely involve several physical editions.