E3 2021 will be going ahead this year after skipping 2020 due to COVID-19. But the 2021 show will be different from anything we’ve seen before.
E3 2020’s cancellation was announced fairly early into the COVID-19 pandemic last year. As one by one, country after country started going into lockdown. It soon became apparent that a mass gathering of gamers in June was unlikely to go ahead.
Sony had already pulled out at this point, but soon everyone else did, and the show was officially canceled. Right before the launch of two new consoles, this was a real shame and uncharted territory for the industry.
Of course, Sony and Microsoft put on their own digital events in 2020, which filled the gap. The console and multiple game trailer reveals still hit the mark, making many question if E3 was still relevant.
Although we're yet to see anything resembling a Nintendo Direct, which is now long overdue. The last one took place back in September 2019.
E3 2021 Changes
Fast forward twelve-months, and E3 is indeed coming back in 2021. ESA has had over a year now to prepare. The world is getting used to putting on events without a live audience – at least there in person.
As the pandemic is still going on, E3 will need to be different from past shows. But at least this time it won’t need to be canceled altogether.
A live audience at E3 2021 hasn’t been completely ruled out; after all, there are now multiple vaccines for COVID. The virus’s ultimate defeat may be some time off, but we now know it’s coming.
However, perhaps not fully in time for summer 2021, when E3 will be happening. Therefore E3 2021 will primarily be a digital event – similar to the PS5 reveal show.
According to a recent leak, the show will take place over three different dates from the 15th to the 17th of June. This is similar to the usual format and will allow each major publisher to have their own show/conference on one of these dates.
Which Studios Will Attend E3 2021?
At this moment in time, it’s unknown exactly who will be putting on a show at E3 2021. Sony may choose not to attend, like last year. – Something they did before the pandemic.
Nintendo’s may plan to run their own Nintendo Direct show at a later date instead of attending E3. So their attendance is up in the air too.
However, recent leaks suggest Nintendo may hold mini-Direct shows instead of one big event. This should help ease fan's worry about their slim 2021 line-up.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda also complicates matters. Bethesda’s shows are usually a highlight of E3, but will they continue to run them separately?
The same could be said if other studios become part of Microsoft. The internet is awash with speculation about who else may be acquired by the gaming’s green giant.
E3’s official Twitter page hinted that more news is soon to follow. We’ll bring it to you when it arrives.