Why it matters: Last month’s news that E3 wouldn’t take place this year didn’t come as too much of a surprise, but it appears that the event isn’t going away for good. Organizers the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has set the dates for next year’s conference.
With the likes of MWC, SXSW, and GDC canceled or postponed over Covid-19 fears, E3 was always at risk of joining them. The inevitable happened after Los Angeles declared a state of emergency due to the spread of the virus, and the ESA said it would be “exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.”
Gamesindustrybiz.com reports that the ESA has shared news with partners that a “reimagined” E3 2021 will take place from June 15 to 17 next year.
There’s no information on how the event might be reimagined, but it could certainly use a revamp as interest among companies and consumers has waned in recent times. Had this year’s show gone ahead, it would have been without Sony—again—and collaborator Geoff Keighley, while merchandise/events company iam8bit resigned from its creative director position after just five weeks.
As noted by PC Gamer, Microsoft, Ubisoft, E3, and Devolver Digital are just some of the companies working on or aiming to have separate online events in the absence of E3. Sadly, Bethesda has confirmed it won’t have a digital showcase this year.
Given the many challenges we're facing due to the pandemic, we will not host a digital Showcase in June. We have lots of exciting things to share about our games and look forward to telling you more in the coming months.— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) April 1, 2020
An E3 spokesperson has confirmed that digital presentations from various game companies are still in production.
"Given the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be presenting an online E3 2020 event in June. Instead, we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements, including on www.E3expo.com, in the coming months," the rep said. "We look forward to bringing our industry and community together in 2021 to present a reimagined E3 that will highlight new offerings and thrill our audiences."