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E3 will be back in 2021 as a three-day all-virtual event

Published: 01:44, 09 February 2021
image showing a crowd at E3 2019 gates
E3 2019

Although E3 2020 never ended up happening, there's still hope for the show as the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) started testing the waters for a three-day all-virtual version of the show.

The organiser eventually gave up on E3 2020 and promised a new, reimagined E3 show in 2021, and it looks like they've begun doing the prep work. 

As reported by VGC, E3 2021 pitch documents have been sent out to publishers, in order to drum up excitement and hopefully secure their participation. 

The documents mention a preview night event on June 14, and a three-day main event from June 15-17. In addition to the two-hour keynote sessions, E3 will feature an awards show and a number of smaller streams by partners, influencers, etc. 

To make up for the lack of a physical event, the ESA will be including remotely streamed playable demos. These will reportedly be streamed to the media in thousands of meetings, which will entail one-to-one assistance from developers. 

The ESA are quite optimistic for E3 2021 and while they didn't say how many publishers or developers confirmed the attendance, they claimed they're having some "great conversations" with the industry. We should be getting more info soon, when we'll have a clearer picture of what the new E3 will be like. 

It will certainly be interesting seeing whether E3 can return to its past glory, especially considering its somewhat waning relevance in the past few years. 

Microsoft photo showing keanu reeves at e3 2019 stage Keanu Reeves at E3 2019

You probably know that major publishers like Sony, Activision and EA all jumped the E3 ship before 2020, choosing to hold own events that are tailored to fit into their respective game development schedules. With a number of publishers now choosing a more direct route to their fans, it remains to be seen how many find the virtual E3 worth their while. 

Thanks, VGC

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