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E3 2021 returns in June as free, all-virtual event

By Kara Santos Published Apr 08, 2021 4:57 pm

The Electronic Entertainment Experience or E3, the premier trade show for computer and video games, will return in 2021 as a “reimagined, all-virtual” event. 

In a news release, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which organizes the annual trade show, announced Tuesday (April 6) that E3 2021 is set to take place from June 12 to 15, 2021. 

The gaming expo will feature content from major publishers including Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media, and more.

According to the event organizers, game developers and publishers will showcase their games at E3 2021 “directly to fans around the world.” E3 2021 content will be free to access. The event promises to be a "hyper-engaged digital experience" which aims to pave the way for gamers in 2022 and beyond.

“For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer, while uniting the world through games,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, president and CEO of the ESA. “We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.” 

Expect live press conferences and a four-day long video stream in E3 2021’s virtual format which will give everyone worldwide unprecedented access to the premier video game industry event.

Last year’s E3 was canceled in March 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The gaming trade show typically involved packing the Los Angeles convention center with costumed characters, game scene recreations, and opportunities to play unreleased titles.

Various game publishers, media outlets, and other groups opted to hold a series of smaller gaming events and virtual announcements distributed throughout the summer and fall of 2020. 

As reported by Polygon, companies like Sony and Electronic Arts, which haven’t officially exhibited at E3 in years and were not announced as part of this year’s expo, are likely hold their own events.

(Images via E3)