E3 will reportedly return in 2021, but as an online-only event

“We can confirm that we are transforming the E3 experience for 2021”

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), historically one of the biggest gaming events of any year, is reportedly making its comeback in 2021.

Event organiser Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has reportedly sent out pitches for a three-day online-only event to various game publishers and developers, according to documents seen by VGC.

The digital E3 2021 will supposedly take place from June 15 to 17 with 12-hour livesteams each day, alongside a preview night on June 14. The event is said to feature “multiple two-hour keynote sessions” from bigger developers, in addition to smaller streams from influencers, media partners and more.


The ESA will also hold media previews in the week prior, with game demos released on consumers platforms – which could refer to distribution channels like Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG and more. Moreover, the organiser is also set to hold “thousands” of meetings in order for the media to remotely stream playable demos.

However, the ambitious plans might still fall through as it requires the approval of the ESA’s membership, which is made up of some of the biggest companies and developers in the video game industry. But the ESA has claimed that it is having “great conversations” with its partners, in a statement to VGC.

“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,” said an ESA spokesperson. “We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.”

Last year, ESA stated that it would “reimagine” E3 2020 as a digital experience after cancelling its physical event due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, plans for the online-only event were scrapped soon after, also due to coronavirus-related “disruptions”.

E3 is not the only video game event to go digital-only in light of COVID-19. Blizzard Entertainment is set to hold BlizzConline, an online version of its annual BlizzCon event, later this month from February 19 to 20. The company is set to reveal more information about anticipated games such as Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV during the showcase.

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