E3 organiser The plans for a bodily E3 in 2020 had been cancelled. When a proposed 2020 ‘virtual’ present additionally did not materialise, the ESA promised a “reimagined” E3 would happen in June 2021.
According to E3 2021 pitch paperwork despatched to video games publishers and seen by VGC, the ESA has now outlined its proposals for this yr’s event, which might see three days of live-streamed protection held throughout the beforehand introduced dates of June 15-17.
The ESA’s intention is to carry a number of two-hour keynote periods from video games companions, an awards present, a June 14 preview evening and different smaller streams from video games publishers, influencers and media companions.
The broadcast event can be supplemented by media previews the week earlier than, in addition to demos launched on client platforms, in line with the ESA’s proposal.
The ESA additionally says it should enable associate corporations to remotely stream playable sport demos to the media throughout “thousands” of scheduled conferences, with one-to-one help from builders. Many corporations have used related on-demand streaming options throughout the pandemic to permit the media to remotely play their video games for preview functions.
However, the E3 2021 plans nonetheless require the approval of ESA’s membership, which is made up of the trade’s largest video games corporations and who’ve vital affect over the route of the present.
The ESA was already dealing with vital stress to reinvent E3, with a number of main publishers together with deserted the event lately – and that was earlier than 2020’s cancellation, after which many corporations akin to EA and Ubisoft loved success operating their very own digital occasions.
E3’s long-time collaborator stop the present final yr attributable to a disagreement over its route, additionally launched the profitable Summer Game Fest in 2020. Keighley confirmed to VGC over non-public message that the event would return this yr and mentioned he would once more not be concerned with E3.
It’s unclear what number of publishers have signed up for E3 2021’s digital event, although at the least one main video games firm VGC spoke to indicated that it could proceed to run its personal separate digital showcase, moderately than paying the six-figure sums required to affix E3 2021’s schedule.
However, The ESA – which is funded by and serves the curiosity of video games publishers – would argue that a unified digital video games event would seize the world’s consideration extra successfully than a sequence of smaller exhibits.
In a assertion issued to VGC, the ESA mentioned it could quickly share precise particulars on this yr’s E3 present and claimed it was having “great conversations” with builders and publishers, however wouldn’t affirm who had signed up for the event.
“We can confirm that we are transforming the E3 experience for 2021 and will soon share exact details on how we’re bringing the global video game community together,” an ESA spokesperson mentioned.
“We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.”
While the physique has not formally cancelled plans for a bodily E3 event, it’s understood that the digital present is now the main focus for E3 2021, attributable to ongoing restrictions across the coronavirus pandemic.
Multiple video games publishing sources instructed VGC they had been working beneath the belief that the bodily event wouldn’t happen this yr.
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According to the ESA’s E3 2021 proposal, a typical present day would see its stay broadcast schedule run from 10am – 10pm EST, with regional replays scheduled round Europe, China and the Middle East.
An instance schedule despatched to publishers appears much like a typical present day of previous E3 occasions: It kicks off with a 30-minute pre-show run by a media associate, adopted by a 2-hour “exclusive press conference” by a console platform holder, adopted by a Q&A and panel response.
The remainder of the day can be comprised of third-party writer shows of differing size, with the day concluding with a wrap-up and teaser for the next one. ESA’s notes additionally point out a “charitable after-party” stream.
Leaked paperwork for the E3 2020 event – which was finally cancelled as a result of pandemic – confirmed plans for a “fan, media and influencer festival” together with a redesigned present flooring that includes “experience hubs”, along with conventional firm cubicles.
Shortly after the final bodily E3 event in 2019, the ESA angered attendees after it leaked a checklist of private particulars belonging to over 2,000 members of the media, together with their dwelling addresses and telephone numbers.
Following the leak, the ESA mentioned successful again the belief of its media companions was its “top priority.”