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E3 Online - How Will The ESA Change Gaming's Largest Event?

The biggest gaming event of the year goes digital.

Anyone in the world of gaming knows what E3 is. It’s when every member of the industry, from CEOs to developers to content creators can get together and discover the latest titles and announcements from gaming companies. Sadly, we didn’t have an E3 last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we won’t be having a traditional one this year for the same reason. However, the Entertainment Software Association or ESA is organizing an online E3. The only question is what viewers will actually get from this entirely virtual showcase.

According to an exclusive report from VGC, an online E3 isn’t quite set in stone yet. While the ESA wants the event to happen, especially after being completely absent last year, it faces some roadblocks. Multiple publishers have already ditched the event entirely, including Sony, EA, and Activision. Last year, former E3 host Geoff Keighley stole the usual slot that the event would take up with his Summer Game Fest. Keighley confirmed to VGC that his event would be returning again this summer. Most daunting though is a lack of support. According to the VGC report, it’s not clear how many publishers or developers have signed up for an online E3 2021. That’s not surprising either, as it costs quite a bit to even get a spot in the E3 2021 schedule.

If the ESA can pull together the support it needs for an online E3 event this year, it will be unlike any other. According to pitch documents for the event seen by VGC, the ESA is planning a radically different event from past E3s. This year’s event will host multiple two-hour-long keynote presentations from developers and publishers, giving them more than enough time to strut their stuff and show off their latest products. Also in the pipeline is an awards show, a preview night before the show begins, and other small streams from E3 partners.

Otto Kratky

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