E3 will likely be very different in 2021

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Hannah Davies

E3 2021 is drawing closer and, with the pandemic showing no signs of ending before summer, the biggest gaming event of the year is looking very different this time around. Here’s what we know about E3 2021.

Last March, E3 organiser the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) shared the unfortunate news that it had been forced to cancel the 2020 event over growing Covid-19 concerns.

The announcement took place relatively early on in the year, making E3 one of the first major tech events to suffer at the hands of the pandemic.

“After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles”, wrote the ESA at the time.

“Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters. But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today”.

Fortunately, this year is looking a little brighter for the California gaming expo.

According to a report by VGC, the ESA is pushing to take the event digital this year. However, it will need the backing of some major games publishers to do so.

Apparently, the ESA has outlined its proposal for three days of live-streamed coverage in E3 2021 pitch documents. The digital event would take place in the same June 15-17 window announced last April, and would involve multiple two-hour keynote sessions, an awards show, a June 14 preview night and other, smaller streams.

However, the ESA cannot do so without the approval of the industry’s biggest games companies. This also means the organisation has not entirely ruled out the possibility of an in-person event for 2021.

We shouldn’t have to wait long to find out what the ESA has in store for this summer, with the official E3 Twitter account promising to share the full picture soon.

In the meantime, make sure to check out our reviews of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, as well as our guides to the best Ps5 games, best Xbox Series S/X games and the best PC games.



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