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E3 May Be Going Online This Year

Last year saw the cancellation of E3 due to COVID-19, although many online gaming events stepped up to fill the void. This year, it seems that E3 itself will be taking the online route.

According to Video Games Chronicle, the pitch documents for E3 2021 propose a livestream format that will take place from June 15 to June 17, with a preview night on June 14 and media previews the previous week to run in the lead up to the event. The event itself will have two-hour keynotes from video game partners and “smaller” streams from media partners, publishers, and influencers, as well as an awards show. The live broadcasts will run from 10AM to 10PM EST, with Europe, China, and the Middle East to get regional replays.

Interestingly, there will also be demos “released on consumer platforms”. Just as the Steam Game Festival provided players with the chance to check out hundreds of demos from the comforts of their home, it’d be great if this year’s E3 really is doing the same, especially if those demos include those from big triple-A titles. For the media, there will be remotely-streamed playable demos during “thousands” of scheduled sessions.

The E3 2021 online plan is not yet set in stone, owing to the pending approval of ESA members. However, VGC reported that the online version of the event is now “the focus”, and even if the physical event hasn’t been officially cancelled, several games publishing sources have told the outlet that they’re operating as if there won’t be a physical event.

Given that going online would not just avoid COVID-related issues but also make the event more accessible, it’ll be great if E3 really does go online this year. And it may not be long before we find out if that is the case, as E3 tweeted that there will be big news “soon”.


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