E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is one of the largest gaming conventions in the world and the premier video game industry event in the US. E3 2021 will be online only and will run from June 12 – 15. Since 1995, this is the annual event that has brought developers, publishers and press, (and more recently, content creators and esports players and fans alike) from around the globe together to celebrate all things gaming!
In the early days, this event was really quite simple. It was a chance for publishers to tease and reveal up and coming hardware and game releases to press and business partners to make sure that they got the press coverage and the retail presence they needed to ensure a successful launch. Press would get exclusive hands-on play time with unlaunched AAA games behind closed doors and attendees would line up for hours to get a sneak peek at an anticipated game trailer or to get their own hands-on play time with the latest game demo. Kicking off each E3 would be several showcase events like the PlayStation Event or the Xbox Event, an invitation only ‘stage show’ put on to showcase key hardware and video game launches in a focused setting, as opposed to just being one of many on the show floor. Also, during E3, if you were lucky enough to score a ticket to one of the evening parties these guys threw, then you’d have a blast and suffer the next day!
In 2017 the event finally officially opened its doors to the common man, the everyday gamer fan boy who lived and breathed gaming, but only if they were quick enough to get one of the limited number of public tickets available. Those of us who had been working the show for several years all knew that about a third of all the attendees prior to 2017 were there under the guise of a ‘journalist’ at an unknown magazine website or a ‘retail manager’ at an obscure independent game store in Timbuktu, so it made sense to let these guys in legitimately. Although I’m sure some of the fun of sneaking in incognito is missed.
Nowadays it has to rival any other entertainment event out there with an explosion of news and exciting game reveals with millions of dollars spent on theatrical ‘experience’ booths, booth babes, launch parties, esports events and flashy pre-launch trailers that rival top Hollywood movie releases. It really is a wonder to behold even though some of the bigger publishers like Sony and EA no longer attend E3, instead preferring to hold their own separate events.
This year’s hosts are no strangers to the game industry and a perfect line up for this online version of the event; Greg Miller (former IGN editor who now runs Kinda Funny, an online entertainment company that produces videos and podcasts on video game culture, film, television, and comics. I listen to the podcast occasionally. You should check it out.), Jacki Jing (on-cam host/producer), and Alex ‘Goldenboy’ Mendez (professional esports commentator).
Even though the event will be lacking the energy and pazazz of the in-person event that we have all grown to love, there will be plenty of exciting things to watch out for online. In particular the reveal of new video game releases – 2021 video games and beyond! Kotaku has a great list of E3 predictions which you should check out here. I always like to see how accurate these guys are. We are also keeping our eye on one of our partners the Ubisoft Forward event which will take place on Saturday, June 12 at 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT / 8pm BST. We are expecting some exciting announcements around Rainbow Six and Farcry, not to mention some updates on Beyond Good & Evil and Skull & Bones!
If you want to know the full schedule for this year’s event then you’re in luck! PCGamesN has a great day by day schedule to check out which also includes many other gaming events before and after the main E3 event. GameSpot also has a good guide here on how and where to watch.
Since E3 is all online again this year, you’ll have plenty to keep track of and many hours of content to watch. But, don’t forget to watch with your GUNNAR glasses on ;oP!!