The annual gaming convention E3 is a free online event this year in place of its usual in-person event.
The event is typically held at the Los Angeles Convention Centre, but won’t be able to this year because of COVID-19 and anti-gathering restrictions. Instead, gamers and fans alike can tune into the E3 site to view what’s in store a virtual setting.
“Holding E3 2021 online means making the event accessible to more people around the world,” esports journalist Amy Chen said. “It’s an innovative approach that gives diverse topics and exciting announcements a more accessible medium.”
“Although there won’t be face-to-face meetings, E3 2021 can still be a great networking event for individuals within the video game industry,” she said. “This can be done through interactions on social media and live streaming platforms.”
President and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Stanley Pierre-Louis reaffirmed this year’s virtual event will live up to past years, despite the online setting.
“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,” Pierre-Louis said in a media release.
“We are evolving this year’s E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with the major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games,” he said.
Announcements from big companies such as Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony are expected, with some of the more anticipated games to be announced or expanded on from last year’s event.
“One of the most exciting aspects of E3 for me is the fact that there usually are surprise announcements, and that could be [from] any video game franchise,” said John Peluso, a University of Toronto student and lifelong gamer. “I am always excited, every year, to see what new games will be announced.”
Nintendo is expected to expand on its announcement last year where it confirmed a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was in active development. The open-world fantasy-adventure game won Game of the Year at the Game Awards in 2018.
Bethesda Softworks’ The Elder Scrolls 6 was also confirmed to be in active development after years of speculation. Its prequel, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, had sold more than 20 million copies by January 2014.
Peluso said he is hoping for announcements from series that have been dormant for some time, such as Nintendo’s F-Zero, Microsoft’s Twisted Metal and others.
“I think video games play a very important role in bringing people together as a community, especially during a global pandemic,” Peluso said.