Earlier this year, the ESA canceled the in-person events for the 2021 Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. The show must go on, so the event will be held digitally. After the annual show was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, industry leads are excited to be reconnecting with video game fans, even if the format is a little different.
On April 6, the dates of E3 2021 were officially revealed for the summer, as well as many of the big-name companies like Microsoft and Nintendo that will be making an appearance. Other notable participants include Ubisoft, Capcom, Take Two and Warner Bros. Electronic Arts will be skipping the event itself, but will hold its own EA Play conference as it has the past few years.
Doug Bowser, President of Nintendo of America, took to Twitter and expressed his delight at the return of the event. Many publishers hosted their own summer conferences last year, but this E3 marks the return of the beloved video game mega-expo. While many voices in the industry cast doubt on the relevancy or need for E3, Bowser seems excited at the prospect of the industry reuniting for the show.
Bowser also promises that the digital event will still be fun and engaging. Nintendo has been kept its cards fairly close to the chest as far as news is concerned for the past year, and there are many big upcoming titles that are due for an update. Games like Metroid Prime 4, Splatoon 3, Bayonetta 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 have largely been radio-silent, and any news on these highly anticipated games would go a long way to making Nintendo’s E3 show something special.
Of course, equally noticeable as the companies that are attending are those that are not. Sony, following the trend that began in 2019, will not be present as part of the official show. A former executive of Sony has gone on record saying that the E3 style of conference is “outdated” and fans are more interested in the “TikTok” style of instant gratification.
At time of writing, Sony has not announced any plans for an event, though precedence suggests PlayStation will host show at some point during the summer. Whatever arguments may exist against the show, E3 2021 is on its way, and fans are eager to see what the industry has been cooking up.