By: Nick Gambino
As the world continues to open up, large events like Comic-Con have chosen to go virtual yet again. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has just announced they will host their popular E3 online this year. More specifically, the largest gaming convention in the world will be a “reimagined, all-virtual” free event.
“For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer while uniting the world through games,” Stanley Pierre-Louis, the CEO of ESA, said in a statement. “We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and inside opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games.”
E3 2021 will take place online from June 12th to June 15th. As it has in earlier years, it’s going to include the biggest names in gaming from Nintendo and Xbox to Ubisoft and Capcom. Notably missing this year is Sony, EA, Sega, and Activision Blizzard.
Sony didn’t participate in last year’s virtual event either, but the decision was made pre-COVID. In fact, the Japanese company joined EA in revoking support for E3, opting instead for their own event running concurrent to E3 2020. Sony also sat out E3’s 25th anniversary in 2019, the first time they had done so. It seems like this is the plan going forward.
Seeing as Sony is the company behind PlayStation, this is a big blow to a conference dedicated to covering all things gaming.
Perhaps the decision to sit out the gaming convention is rooted in the fact that they’ve already released the PS5 to fanfare and don’t want the pressure of having to come up with something else that makes a big splash. An annual third-party gaming event kind of forces the company to invest time, effort, and money in some sort of reveal. If that’s not where their heads are at, an underwhelming presence could backfire, creating bad PR.
Alas, the show goes on, and for those console players who choose Xbox (raising my hand), I’m sure there will be plenty to get excited about at the free event starting June 12th.