ESA planning for digital E3 2021

ESA planning for digital E3 2021

US video games trade body Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is apparently planning for this year's E3 trade show to be digital.

As reported by VGC, pitch documents for the event outline a three-day event between June 15th and 17th which will centre on three days of live-streamed content. The ESA wants to hold two-hour keynote sessions from a number of its games partners, as well as an awards show and a preview show.
Companies will also be rolling out demos for a variety of platforms so that the folks back home can get hands-on with upcoming titles.

The ESA is also planning to let developers and publishers stream game demos to media via a meeting system in order to help coverage from 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 told VGC.

“We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.”

This comes in the wake of E3 2020 being cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. For some reason, the ESA decided not to go online for arguably the biggest week for video games in the year – unlike other blockbuster games trade shows – but many publishers including Microsoft and Ubisoft opted to hold digital events in lieu of a physical E3.

The ESA was already under pressure to change its approach to E3, with the trade body outlining plans to "shake things up" for E3 2020. That's without mentioning the fact the organisation accidentally leaked the personal information of over 2,000 members of the games press, content creators and industry analysts.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.