15 Jun 2021 12:16 PM +00:00

Everything you need to know about E3 2021's all-digital event

E3 2021 is almost over this year but it's not done just yet. Xbox and Bethesda joined forces for a fantastic show and we still have to hear from Bandai Namco now. Luckily, we have one big hitter left - Nintendo

Here's everything you need to know

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LATEST - Nintendo Direct Happening Tonight

E3 is almost over but not before we get one of the best shows. Nintendo Direct is just a few hours away.

It will take place tonight at 9 am PT / 5 pm BST and will reveal "roughly 40 minutes of info focused exclusively on Nintendo Switch Software."

Official E3 2021 Schedule Revealed

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The Electronic Entertainment Expo is all digital this year and, thanks to the reveal of the official schedule, you can make sure you are home and watching when you need to be!

The show runs from June 12 through 15, and you can read the full statement for yourself here, but the general run-of-show looks like this:

Saturday, June 12, broadcast pre-show starts at 10am PT / 1pm ET

  • Ubisoft
  • Gearbox Entertainment
  • GamesBeat

Sunday, June 13, broadcast pre-show starts at 8:45am PT / 11:45am ET

  • Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase (10am PT / 1pm ET)
  • SQUARE ENIX
  • PC Gaming Show
  • Future Games Show.
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Monday, June 14, broadcast pre-show starts at 8:00am PT / 11:00am ET

  • Mythical Games
  • Freedom Games 
  • Capcom
  • Take-Two Interactive

Tuesday, June 15, broadcast pre-show starts at 8:00am PT / 11:00am ET

  • Nintendo’s Nintendo Direct and Nintendo Treehouse (9am PT / 12pm ET)
  • BANDAI NAMCO
  • Yooreka Games
  • GameSpot
  • Official E3 2021 Awards Show
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Huge Nintendo Show At E3 2021 Confirmed

We always knew Nintendo was going to turn up to E3 2021 with something great, but today's announcement has blown everyone's expectations out of the water.

Nintendo is hosting a 40-minute Nintendo Direct, followed by around three hours of gameplay in Nintendo Treehouse Live. That's four hours of new Nintendo content and it's, frankly, wild.

What's interesting is that Nintendo has made it clear that the Nintendo Direct at E3 2021 will be "focused exclusively on #NintendoSwitch software, mostly releasing in 2021". Expect some release dates to be announced.

However, this does put a few rumours about a Switch Pro console appearing at E3 2021 to bed. It doesn't look like we're going to be seeing any new hardware this time around...

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Xbox & Bethesda Team-Up

Finally, Xbox has confirmed a few more details about their E3 2021 showcase presentation.

Firstly, as we all anticipated, Xbox and Bethesda are going to host a joint Games Showcase event for E3 2021. Bethesda was bought out by Xbox, so this isn't too much of a surprise, but it does raise some questions regarding Bethesda on PlayStation.

We know we'll see the big ones, like the next Elder Scrolls game, on PlayStation consoles... But Bethesda makes a lot more than just that. Rumours suggest that Starfield is going to be an Xbox-exclusive title as and when it is properly announced. We could see this happen at E3 2021.

Secondly, we now know when the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase is due to take place. It's going to be broadcast on Sunday, June 13th at 10:00 PST / 13:00 EST / 18:00 BST. This might not be the first presentation of the day, as E3 coverage usually kicks off early at 09:00 PST... But, it will certainly be one of the biggest.

There's going to be Xbox Game Pass updates, World Premieres, and a whole lot more.

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Places To Watch E3 2021 Announced

The ESA are still drip-feeding information about E3 2021; The latest bit of information we've been offered is all about the different Social Media platforms and Video services that are going to be involved with E3 2021.

As it turns out, it seems like almost every outlet is involved...

The ESA list Twitch, YouTube, Facebook Gaming, Wechat, Reddit, TikTok, VENN, Steam, Afreeca TV and Entertainment Weekly in their Announcement News post. However, places like Bkohtakte, Webedia, GameStar, GamePro and VidaExtra are all also on the full list.

" Working with these leading companies ensures that this year’s all-digital E3 experience will reach audiences around the world,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, President & CEO of the ESA. “This will be the first time ever that E3 will be freely available across all of these major services, allowing us to reach video game fans from all corners of the globe.”

E3 2021 is changing the way The ESA works but is it an inevitability. You have to wonder whether the paid exclusivity was a viable model for many more years. Especially after the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Online Portal & App Details Revealed

As we cross over the one-month threshold, The ESA has revealed new information about how E3 2021 is going to work given the fact that they have adopted a new virtual format for the event.

According to Stanley Pierre-Louis, the President and CEO of the ESA, a "bespoke online portal and app" has been developed that will... " allow fans, media and industry professionals to have an E3 experience designed to run parallel to the four-day broadcast, laying the foundation for interactive E3 elements to continue beyond this year’s all-virtual show.”

Registration for access to these services are going to be available later this month and we have a very brief rundown of what the Online Portal and App will be doing below:

  • Exhibitor Booths – Featuring special events, VOD content and articles, exhibitor booths will act as hubs within the portal for key announcements and game information tied to each exhibitor
  • Lounges – Online gathering spots for all E3 attendees
  • Forums – Special boards for focused online discussion and sharing among attendees
  • Leaderboards – Gamified show elements that can be collected and displayed, encouraging fans to interact in as many ways as possible
  • Profile Creation – All attendees can create their own unique profiles within the portal and app, which can be customized
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These platforms will also feature all the live broadcasts from E3 2021, with interactive overlays from Hovercast. These will feature viewer polls, Tweets, and a lot more. It's set to be an incredible event.

New Additions To The Line-Up

If you thought E3 2021 was just going to be Xbox and the PC Games Show, then you're going to be pleasantly surprised. The ESA has just confirmed a brand new list of additional "chefs in the kitchen" for E3 2021 and it's certainly looking like a pretty stacked event.

Below, we have the list of all the new additions:

  • Square Enix;
  • SEGA;
  • Bandai Namco;
  • XSEED Games (Marvelous USA);
  • Gearbox Entertainment;
  • Freedom Games;
  • Devious Eye Entertainment;
  • Turtle Beach;
  • Verizon;
  • Binge dot com;

It's an interesting mix of publishers, sponsors, peripheral manufacturers and more. We're not sure exactly what this will mean yet as we haven't had a new update for the schedule yet. However, we can imagine there's going to be a few sponsored panels as opposed to a show directly from Verizon, for example.

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Square Enix Join E3 2021 Roster

When speaking with Nikkei, Square Enix's Matsuda was asked about the publisher's plans for the remainder of 2021 and what SE titles he was looking forward to.

He spoke about Outriders and the Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, but then also said the following...

" We’ll be announcing the rest of the line-up [later], and we’re also planning to make an announcement at E3 in June, so please keep your eyes peeled."

Square Enix is yet to be officially confirmed for E3 2021, but this seemingly confirms that the publisher is going to appear alongside Nintendo, Konami, Ubisoft and more at the all-digital event in June.

This could be as part of another presentation, though... We don't know whether another Square Enix Presents is on the way just yet.

E3 2021 Start Date & Duration

We don't know a whole lot about what's in store for this year's E3 digital conference, but we do know when everything should be taking place.

E3 2021 is due to take place between June 12 and June 15 as it stands. However, ESA could easily change this going forwards given the online-only nature of the event.

This is almost the exact same dates as E3 2019, which took place between June 11th and June 13th, so we're inclined to think that the dates above will remain the event's starting date and duration.

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How To Sign Up

At the moment, the only way to sign-up for anything is through the E3 2021 website. This will "subscribe" you to "special offers and announcements about the digital E3 experience."

So, it won't actually get you your virtual ticket but it will sign you up for an email about it when they do become available.

E3 2021 2019 Xbox Stage
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HISTORY - Are Physical Events and fantastic stages a thing of the past?

E3 2021 is going to be a free event and available through "the new E3 exclusive online portal and supporting mobile app, as well as other major video platforms".

There isn't anything specific about any of these just yet, but that essentially means that you'll be able to watch E3 in quite a few different places if you decide to tune in.

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E3 2021 Hosts Revealed

The hosts for the E3 2021 event have been announced.E3 2021 will be hosted by Greg Miller, the co-founder of entertainment outlet Kinda Funny, Jacki Jing, an Emmy-nominated TV journalist who has worked with IGN, and Alex ‘Goldenboy’ Mendez, a professional esports commentator and also commentator for NBC’s The Titan Games.

An Online-Only Digital Event

If you weren't aware, going online-only is a pretty big deal for E3. Especially when you consider the fact that E3 2020 was straight-up cancelled last year.

This was due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which we know has had a sizeable impact on the gaming industry as a whole, but this wasn't the only blow E3 suffered last year.

" 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..." - ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis
E3 2021 Sign Convention
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GONE FOR GOOD? - Will anyone ever get to see the big E3 sign again?

Sony, one of the biggest gaming companies in the world, announced that they would not be attending E3 2020 prior to its' cancellation and this has led to an intense period of reflection and re-evaluation ahead of the decision to bring E3 back in 2021.

An Inclusive Event

One thing that the fans will be happy to know is that E3 is finally going to be free to attend! Of course, this is a lot easier to do thanks to the fact that it is a digital-only event but it is an important step in the right direction for the gaming conference.

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E3 2021 Phone Monitor Art
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ANYWHERE - One plus is that you'll be able to watch E3 from pretty much anywhere

Over the last year, we've seen several major publishers and gaming companies hold their own digital presentations in lieu of E3 2020 and we find it hard to imagine that they'd want to transition back into a more exclusive format going forward.

" 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."

At its core, E3 is like the Comic-Con for gaming. It is more than just a news conference. It's a celebration of the industry and its fans as much as it is a place to get exciting information and First Looks.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to take a step back from giant conventions and look into new ways of celebrating their favourite things. With this in mind, when you consider the over-saturation of gaming media outlets, it seems like the only way E3 could come back in 2021 is to make the event free-to-watch at the very least.

This is a pretty fantastic list and would undoubtedly make for a fantastic multi-day digital-only event.

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