Rumors of E3’s return are now confirmed by the ESA. From June 12th to the 15th, gamers and geeks can tune-in to the free, online-only E3 2021 livestream. Big names like Nintendo and Xbox will take the stage at this event, though Sony is absent expo’s lineup for the third year in a row.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (or “E3”) is the gaming industry’s largest annual event. But like most in-person events, E3 was cancelled last year to protect workers and attendees from COVID-19. It was the first time that an E3 event had been cancelled in the expo’s 25-year history. Without E3 2020, some developers had no place to announce their new games, which led to a few one-off events and a new traditions, like Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest (which will return this June).
At the time of writing, E3 2021’s lineup includes Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media. The ESA emphasizes that these companies have confirmed their attendance early, and that the final lineup will look much larger. That said, Sony is unlikely to attend the event, given its decision to skip both E3 2019 and E3 2020 (Sony turned down E3 2020 a few months before governments really acknowledged COVID-19).
WELCOME BACK! It’s been hard waiting quietly as we got ready for today, but we are thrilled to officially announce our plans for June 12th-15th!
— E3 (@E3) April 6, 2021
Details for E3 2021 are still scarce, though the ESA suggests that the event will be more “inclusive,” with a mix of both large and small developers. In its press release, the ESA seems excited for the online-only event, which could reach “more people than ever” through an endless, free livestream.
While an online-only E3 may be a bummer for some people, it seems that this is just a temporary setback. The ESA plans to host an in-person E3 in 2022 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, bringing old friends, fans, journalists, and developers back together after a two-year break. For more info on E3 2021, sign up for the E3 mailing list.