If you follow the news, you know that we were already planning to stay home
This week the ESA, E3’s organizing body, seemingly confirmed that it was going to go all-digital for its 2021 show. For obvious reasons. The news comes first from a report at VGC based on individuals with access to pitch documents from gaming’s biggest trade association. According to the report, this year’s show may focus on a three-day streaming experience from June 15-17 filled with press conferences, gaming previews, and panel sessions, similar to the E3 Coliseum concept from 2017/2018. The week prior, media previews would take place in which developers and publishers would be able to get their games in front of press and partners via streaming tech. The cost to join the stream schedule is supposedly in the six-figure range, which can really damage the ability of smaller publishers to join in.
There isn’t a whole lot more information, but the news essentially confirms what we at SideQuesting have been saying for months now: E3 2021 will not take place in a physical space. Hopefully it will be a better situation than 2020’s pressured timing and eventual cancelation. Hosting an in-person event right now is a big no-no, and a giant conference like E3 could lead to tragic consequences. In fact, PAX East is currently somehow still planned to take place at the beginning of June, but we have a feeling that it, too, will meet an untimely fate this year.
We’ll know more about what E3 will look like in the coming weeks.