The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, has been announced for 2021 as a digital-only event to take place from June 12-15. With confirmed commitments from major videogame publishers Xbox, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Capcom, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media, it marks a return for the conference after its cancellation in 2020.
For 25 years, E3 has traditionally been seen as a high point in the calendar year for the videogame industry. Held at the Los Angeles Convention Centre in the middle of the year, the trade event served as both a platform for games publishers to make major announcements concerning their titles for the second half of the year and beyond, and a location for international media to converge and preview said titles far in advance.
E3 also served as a networking event for developers, an opportunity to showcase their titles to potential partners as well as the press.
However, the convention has attempted to evolve in an effort to stay relevant in recent years, likely due to changes in the way game companies market their titles. In 2016, major publisher Electronic Arts pulled out of the show in favour of holding their own public event parallel to the convention. E3 subsequently opened its doors to the general public the following year.
In 2019, E3 suffered the loss of another major partner when Sony Interactive Entertainment pulled out of the show, preferring to host their own dedicated events at different points in the year.
The convention was also lambasted later that year for hosting a publicly accessible document containing the personal details of roughly 2,000 members of the press and online influencers, as well as allegedly planning to take the 2020 show in a direction that was excessively focussed on creating marketing opportunities.