Due to COVID-19, E3 never happened last year, and this year? It’s all digital. While the community has differing opinions about where the ESA should take this showcase next, or even whether or not to continue it, it looks like there may be a middle ground reached regarding the future of E3. According to a recent statement made by the president of ESA, the next E3 looks like it could be a hybrid showcase, blending online with in-person celebrations.
E3 2021 kicks off this weekend, and while it is completely digital, that means it’s also free. The showcase has only become open to the public in recent years. In the past, E3 has always been a dedicated, in-person event for games media and other industry figures. At the same time, the community at large has celebrated gaming from afar by watching the showcases online. Before COVID, ESA made the change to make the event open to the public, allowing gamers to come onto the showroom floor and experience the future of gaming alongside those working in the industry.
“This will provide us with an opportunity to present to members of the industry, media, and fans an opportunity to participate fully, and I think that provides a really unique opportunity to learn this year what we can apply to future events that will probably be a mix of physical and digital,” said Entertainment Software Association president Stanley Pierre-Louis GamesIndustry. “But that’s to be determined. We’ve got to figure out where we all are moving forward.”
He also added that the core focus of the ESA is to remain hyper focused on this year’s event. Being digital, a lot can go wrong. Technical difficulties usually happen at the worst time. That, and there is more competition in this space than there has been in the past, especially with EA Play, Sony doing their own thing, and the Summer Game Fest securing a position in the news rotation for the Summer.
“The shape of that is yet to be determined, and we hope to learn from this year’s event what transfers well,” he added. “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.”
It will be interesting to see where E3 goes from here. With a rise in focus for content creators and more and more programs coming out to make online content meaningful due to the pandemic, the question remains: is E3 even needed? You decide in the comment section below!