The ESA is Moving Forward with E3 2021 but as a Digital Event

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is happening this summer just not in the way you’d expect, according to VGC.

The event’s organizer’s The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is planning to present E3 as a digital event. When the traditional E3 event was cancelled last year, the ESA planned a digital show for E3 2020 that failed to materialized after the event was cancelled.

The ESA would later promise that they would reimagine E3 in the pandemic world for 2021. VGC says the plans for the 2021 digital show include the plan to “hold multiple two-hour keynote sessions from games partners, an awards show, a June 14 preview night and other smaller streams from games publishers, influencers and media partners.”

The ESA also proposes demos released on consumer platforms, it would be a first that’d you wouldn’t have to wait hours to 10 minutes of a highly anticipated game. If it goes through for not just PC but console platforms then that’s good PR for the ESA, if only they did this before the pandemic.

Now let’s not all celebrate that E3 is coming back because it isn’t at this moment. This is not an official announcement but a proposal for the event from documents that VGC got a first look at.

Each year, E3’s relevance comes into question. Paying that much to get into a digital event when those companies can produce their own shows for probably way less is ludicrous.

I look past E3 costs for publishers because its the status quo, it’s well known that E3 booth space is pretty expensive but the physical aspect is non-existent for a digital E3. It makes less sense to pay a six figure fee to get into the expo when booth space was at a minimum of $10,000. It seems like the ESA is trying to milk as much they can from companies in a pandemic and it’s honestly a little disgusting.

I do hope publishers don’t support a digital E3 Show this year and just do their own thing or get showcased on Summer Game Fest for much less.

I don’t have a lot of confidence in the ESA, especially after it leaked the personal details of over 2,000 members of the media. The E3 organizer has much to do to earn my and the people’s trust back, and this isn’t a great start this year.

It remains to be seen but we’ll see or not if Greg Miller will be banned from this E3, it would be a hard task to accomplish in a digital setting anyway.