E3 2020 was canceled entirely due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe. The ESA was also beset by various controversies, casting doubt on the future of the whole event. For example, the ESA managed to leak the personal details of various industry insiders, leading to a lot of pushback. It was instances like this that led to consumer and company confidence in E3 to be shaken.
E3 2021 is set to run a few days earlier than previous E3 events, from June 12 to June 15. The presenters have also said that they are working on plans to offer exclusive reveals to some media. That will likely take the form of press-only reveals via exclusive streams. So far, gamers can expect to see announcements from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media according to a statement released by the ESA.
Even though many providers and presenters have confirmed they are not coming to E3 2021, many of these are instead running their own events. Sony and EA will not participate and instead plan to run their own events, likely via livestreams. Nintendo, Xbox and Ubisoft are all onboard to present their newest games at the event. Activision Blizzard, Sega, Bandai Namco and Square Enix are also among those absent from the presenter list.
As for what to expect, it seems like we’re getting much of the same stage presentations are previous years, just online this time. E3 2021 Online will have game demos and trailers aplenty for AAA and indie games, although it’s too far out to guess what games might show up.