The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, is the premier trade event for the video game industry. Many software developers, game publishers, hardware and accessory manufacturers use it as a venue to advertise new products and introduce upcoming games to fans around the world.
The expo is hosted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the U.S. trade association dedicated to serving the dynamic marketplace of companies developing and publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the internet.
A friend of mine and I were looking forward to attending E3 for the first time last year. We already had our event passes and plane tickets. But of course the one time I had a chance to go, E3 was cancelled!
It wasn’t a total loss. Our event tickets were refunded and the airline gave me credit for a different flight. So I decided to visit a friend up in Washington, as I had never been to the Pacific Northwest.
Anyway, ever since the cancellation of 2020’s event due to COVID-19, there has been much rumor and speculation regarding this year’s iteration of the most anticipated video game trade show in the world. Now we know: the 2021 E3 conference, which will be the 26th E3, will be a virtual online-only event scheduled for June 12-15, 2021.
It’s “Game On” for E3, as The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially unveils plans for a reimagined, all-virtual E3 2021 that will engage video game fans everywhere.
The good news is: everybody gets to go to E3 this year for free! The all-digital format means more people than ever can participate. Nobody needs to fly across the country or around the world to attend. Instead, we’ll all be sitting comfortably at home or at work, watching our screens as we always do.
Admittedly, it won’t be quite as exciting as going to the Los Angeles Convention Center in person. But hey, it’s better than nothing. And you will have all the comforts of home – no having to pay for food or lodging. You can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite snacks! You might even get together with your gamer friends and have a watch party!
The official ESA announcement doesn’t hint at what the digital show will look like. I’m guessing there will be a lot of trailers and pre-filmed interviews with industry insiders. They had better make it innovative and engaging, hopefully with a few unexpected surprises along the way.
After all, ESA members declare themselves to be “the innovators, creators, publishers and business leaders that are reimagining entertainment and transforming how we interact, learn, connect and play [through] initiatives that showcase the positive impact of video games on people, culture and the economy.”
Maybe I’ve set my expectations too high, but this is the perfect time to demonstrate what they do best, and creatively communicate it in an entertaining way. Because if the all-digital E3 2021 is lackluster and boring, or full of awkward technical glitches, they will quickly lose viewers (and potential customers).
Stanley Pierre-Louis, President and CEO of the ESA, confidently stated: “We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.”
Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media are already slated to participate. Notably absent from the list are Sony and EA. Both of those companies ditched E3 in recent years, even prior to the show’s cancellation in 2020. At the moment, it appears that neither company will return for the digital show either.
The full schedule has not been released yet, but we’ll find out more as the event draws closer. For more information, visit the ESA’s website: https://theesa.com
What do you expect/hope to see at E3 2021? Let us know in the comments!