The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the organization that puts together E3 every year, is reportedly planning for a digital-only event this summer. According to documents obtained by VGC (via Polygon), E3 2021 will likely consist of three days of live-streamed coverage with time allotted for an awards show, a preview event and two-hour keynotes from major publishers.
In a statement the ESA shared with several publications, including Engadget, a spokesperson confirmed the organization is working on "transforming the E3 experience for 2021," adding, "[we] will soon share exact details on how we're bringing the global video game community together."
New year. New colors.
— Summer Game Fest (@summergamefest) February 8, 2021
As with many other conventions and trade shows in 2020, the ESA canceled E3 last year after the coronavirus pandemic made it untenable to host a large group of people in a confined space. In the absence of the event, most publishers went ahead and hosted their own digital showcases. With help from Twitch, The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley put together the Summer Game Fest, which gave smaller publishers and developers a chance to showcase their upcoming games. On Monday, Keighley confirmed the festival would return in 2021.
According to VGC, the ESA's membership hasn't approved the organization's E3 2021 plans yet. Even before 2020, there was pressure on the group to reinvent the event as companies like Nintendo and Sony ditched it to host their own showcases.