We learned from reports earlier in the year that E3 would be returning in summer 2021 after a hiatus as a digital online-only event. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially confirmed today that this year’s E3 conference will be a direct-style online conference that will be free to watch for gaming fans around the world.
It will take place from June 12th to June 15th as a “reimagined, all-virtual” event which will allow an array game developers to showcase their latest projects.
The ESA made a statement today saying:
“The ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free,”
Developers confirmed to appear during the show so far include; Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media. Along with this selection of premium devs, the ESA have said that there are “more to come”.
It is worth pointing out that Sony are once again absent from the line-up, leading to speculation that the Japanese company could be skipping the flagship show for the third year in a row. However, this is merely speculation at the time of writing and we will most likely get confirmation of this within the next month.
Other significant companies missing from the line-up include EA, Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Tencent, 505, and Activision Blizzard.
The fact that ESA have emphasised that this will be a free event is probably in response to recent claims that the ESA had made plans to put certain E3 content behind a paywall (via VGC). As expected, news of this plan didn’t go down too well when it dropped online, with many gamers voicing their outrage. The statement from the ESA made a point to reassure fans that there will be “no elements” of the E3 2021 conference behind any sort of a paid-for pass or paywall.
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