E3 2020 will not have a large live streaming event to replace the traditional conference. But the good news is there will be an alternative online experience instead, and there is confirmation when next year’s event will be.
Initially reported by GamesIndustry.biz (through PC Gamer), The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced that E3 2021 will run from June 15-17, and will be “a rearranged event.” However, this message to its partners has nothing to say about what will replace this year’s E3.
The E3 representative then contacted PC Gamer to give a more specific statement on this issue, saying that the event would not proceed as before.
“Given the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not present the E3 2020 online event in June. Instead, we will work with exhibitors to promote and display each company’s announcement, including at www.E3expo.com, in the coming months, “the representative said.
“We hope to unite our industry and community in 2021 to bring a redesigned E3 that will highlight new offerings and thrill our audience.”
E3 2020 was canceled at the end of February in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic that was developing at that time. That’s when ESA said “exploring options with our members to coordinate online experiences to display announcements and industry news in June 2020.”
Other game industry events, such as GDC, have also been canceled with various companies then holding virtual press conferences or talks to discuss what they want to present on stage. This has happened with Microsoft and Sony for some time Xbox Series X and PS5 announcement.
The “reimagining” described in E3 2021 will cause much encouraging speculation among gamers and developers. Critics of E3 have said for several years that the format is out of date, now companies can announce their products online at a fraction of the cost of ordering a booth on the LA Convention Center exhibition floor. E3 is starting to allow fans to buy tickets in 2017, so maybe E3 2021 will become more than just a public entertainment event for gamers.
Or maybe E3 will try to cater to smaller and more indie developers, given that big players like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA, Bethesda and others have started holding their own separate events over the last few years. We need to have a better idea of what E3 2021 looks like early next year.