E3 2021: Biggest conference in gaming is going online

Published
Related Topics
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionE3 normally takes place in LA, but was cancelled last year due to the pandemic

It's been confirmed that E3, the biggest video game event in the world, is set to go ahead this year.

Instead of its usual Los Angeles location it will be held digitally and free for everyone to attend due to the pandemic.

Nintendo, Xbox, Konami and Ubisoft are some of the developers which have agreed to participate.

Notably absent are EA, Activision and Sony, but this isn't unusual and often happened before the pandemic too.

The show, which connects developers and publishers with gamers was forced to cancel last year due to global lockdowns.

media captionNewsbeat made this documentary about the last E3, back in 2019

Entertainment Software Association, which runs the event, hasn't yet given any clues about how it will take hold.

Fans will be expecting to see lots of trailers, game demonstrations and pre-filmed interviews with the biggest names in the industry.

The whole event will be free to take part in - with no VIP packages or paywall features.

Will this rekindle the magic of past E3 events?

Analysis by Steffan Powell, Newsbeat gaming reporter

E3 has been the spiritual home for major gaming announcements since 1995.

Games companies from across the globe have used it to start driving interest and hype around their new consoles and titles.

It's where the PlayStation 4 was first seen, the Nintendo Wii and now-classic games like Halo 2.

It's the one time of the year the games industry is guaranteed coverage in the mainstream press - so it's a big deal.

However, in recent years the event has lost some of its sparkle, with some abandoning it to do their own thing - and last year it was cancelled due to COVID.

Some predicted this would be end of E3 as we know it - with perhaps a future as an event for people to try new titles but not a place where they're first announced.

Fan events are brilliant and important - but rarely do they help gaming cut through the noise of the entertainment industry and create headlines worldwide.

With this return, albeit in a digital form, games companies will be able to see if the event can rekindle the magic of the past and maintain its place at the heart of the gaming calendar.

"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," said Stanley Pierre-Louis, who runs ESA.

"We are evolving this year's E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable centre stage for video games."

The event will run 12-15 June.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays - or listen back here.

More on this story