E3 Will Likely Be A Mix Of Digital And In-Person Events Going Forward

E3 Will Likely Be A Mix Of Digital And In-Person Events Going Forward

Written by 

Tom Chapman


10th Jun 2021 11:11

It's the video game event of the year, and with E3 sitting out 2020 for the first time in its 26-year history, fans and industry experts are expecting this year's Electronic Entertainment Experience to be one of the biggest yet. As Microsoft and Sony continue to push their next-gen consoles, there are rumours of a Nintendo Switch Pro, and everyone else is getting ready to unveil their next AAA titles.

With E3 rebranding from Electronic Entertainment Expo to Electronic Entertainment Experience, there were already questions about how this change of name might affect the way things work. With COVID-19 decimating the gaming industry, we've found ways to adapt - which appear to have stuck moving forward. Now, there are reports that the future of E3 will combine a mix of in-person and digital events.

Will the future of E3 be digital?

All eyes are on E3 this weekend, but with some social distancing restrictions still in place, the exhibitors are going for a digital-only appearance that will be broadcast from the Los Angeles Convention Center. Although there are plans to return to a fully in-person event in 2022, some could stay with a digital presence.

Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, Entertainment Software Association President Stanley Pierre-Louis described E3 2021 as a "unique opportunity” to see how things can evolve. "This will provide us with an opportunity to present to members of the industry, media, and fans an opportunity to participate fully", said Pierre-Louis.

"I think that provides a real unique opportunity to learn this year what we can apply to future events that will probably be a mix of physical and digital. But that's to be determined. We've got to figure out where we all are moving forward". 

Expanding on how we could see a more digital-focussed E3 in the future, Pierre-Louis concluded, "The shape of that is yet to be determined, and we hope to learn from this year's event what transfers well. I can't speak to future E3s because we really want to focus on E3 2021 and ensure this is a great experience for exhibitors, the media, and fans alike". 

What are we expecting at E3 2021?

It would probably be easier to cover what we aren't expecting to see at this year's E3. Although Warner Bros. has confirmed there won't be any new updates on major titles like Hogwarts LegacyGotham Knights, or Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, anyone who is anyone will be in attendance. Alongside presumed updates for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and the delayed Halo Infinite, we're holding out for more on the mysterious Starfield, a potential reveal of BioShock 4, and official confirmation for Call of Duty 2021.

Importantly, Sony is once again sitting out E3, meaning it could be Microsoft's time to shine. This year has already been huge for Sony's biggest rival, with the acquisition of Bethesda meaning there are some massive titles on the way as Xbox exclusives. Let's not forget Nintendo though, with E3 sure to pave the way for what's next for major IPs like Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon. If that wasn't enough, we might finally be able to pick up a Nintendo Switch Pro. 

E3 was born from a need for an overarching expo where the biggest in the business could together and reveal what they're working on. Before 1995, you'd have to go to various trade shows to peddle your wares. Sadly, the digital-only E3 2021 could mark the end of an era and set the precedent for a very different E3 future. The four-day experience kicks off on June 12 and is sure to be one to watch as the gaming scene continues to boom


Images via E3 | Nintendo | Microsoft | Electronic Arts

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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