The fate of E3 2021 has been uncertain for months with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. After last year’s event was cancelled—both physically and digitally—ESA were intending to hold a “reimagined” event this year. In news that shouldn’t really surprise people, it seems like that live physical event won’t be going ahead after all. In a schedule for a meeting due to be held in a couple of days, the Board of Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development has marked the planned live event due to begin on June 15 as cancelled. However, ESA is still working on a license so a live event can go ahead in 2022 and 2023.
With the physical event no longer happening in 2021, ESA is currently working with a production team on broadcast options from LA Live and the Los Angeles Convention Center instead. Reports last month said they’ve been pitching for the support of publishers and developers to appear during a digital event that would involve “multiple two-hour keynote sessions from games partners, an awards show, a June 14 preview night and other smaller streams from games publishers, influencers and media partners.” These plans haven’t managed to convince everyone, though, with former Nintendo America President Reggie Fils-Aimé saying these plans don’t sound “all that compelling” and that the event would need to change direction if it was to stay relevant. Other reports say that major publishers and exhibitors are already opting out of this year’s show, and Geoff Keighley is distancing himself from it once again.
ESA will be hoping to secure a more positive response than last year when many publishers rejected their pitch for E3 2020. Sony declared they wouldn’t be attending before others followed suit, many of which then went on to hold their own events throughout the year like EA Play Live and the various events under Geoff Keighley’s Summer of Gaming. This resulted in iam8bit resigning as the Creative Directors for E3 2020 before the virtual show was eventually cancelled too.
The E3 organizers have promised we’ll hear more soon when they’ll “provide the *full* picture of the E3 2021 experience”. As always, we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear anything more.