Lots of gaming conventions and events were cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including E3. Unlike other events that ended up going online, the Entertainment Software Association announced the event was fully cancelled in 2020 and would return in 2021. E3's organisers have confirmed that they will be putting together an online E3 this year.
Video Games Chronicle have obtained pitch documents sent from the ESA to game publishers outlining their proposal for a three-day event of livestreams that will reportedly happen on June 15-17. After that report, an ESA spokesperson followed up with a statement.
"We can confirm that we are transforming the E3 experience for 2021 and will soon share exact details on how we’re bringing the global video game community together.
"We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon."
E3's cancellation last year didn't leave us without our usual summer glut of game news. If anything, it was the opposite. Most of the biggest game publishers held their own online shows. The likes of Microsoft and Ubisoft even did so multiple times. PlayStation presented their slew of trailers during the PS5 reveal event. Geoff Keighley ran his Summer Game Fest with announcements and livestreams throughout the summer. Even smaller publishers hosted digital events.
It's not clear yet exactly what this year's E3 will look like and whether publishers will continue last year's trend of individual shows outside the ESA bubble. According to VGC, "at least one major games company VGC spoke to indicated that it would continue to run its own separate digital showcase."
Far be it from me to say that E3 shouldn't evolve. They were in fact planning a revamp of the show in 2020 prior to the news that it would be cancelled. I will say that that lack of centralised E3 last year made for a frankly exhausting, endless summer.
If publishers and developers decide not to fall back in line and continue to broadcast their own programs, I'd kindly request everyone pick one single week in June to do it this time around, please and thanks.