E3 faces rivals and booming interest in a fully digital 2021


E3 2021 is set to kick off in a week, and after being canceled last year due to the pandemic, restrictions and uncertainty during the planning stages have turned it into an all-digital event. This means that everyone – fans, press, developers, will be consuming everything online.

E3 has struggled in recent years to capture the interest of a contingent of big industry players, and in a fully digital year, that division has grown.

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In short, many developers and publishers feel that they no longer need to debut footage under the E3 banner with a big stage show (real or virtual). This led to a slew of announcements in the “E3 window,” but many outside of the show itself. He also now has a sizable rival, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, an ongoing show full of premieres that will air in the days leading up to E3 and attempt to steal some of its thunder. Keighley once designed the “Winter E3,” the Game Awards, which grew to such an extent that it was even the place where Microsoft decided to launch the Xbox Series X for the first time.

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As for the other defectors? Over the past few years, E3 has lost Sony, EA and Activision in particular.

Sony usually has its own game showcases and has made a habit of releasing things like 20 minutes of Horizon Forbidden West gameplay to have 48 hours of news cycles with little effort.

EA has EA Play, its own standalone show, and they’ve already started generating some buzz with a new Battlefield 2042 trailer this week.

Activision runs BlizzCon most years for this part of their catalog, but in 2021 they said they won’t be bringing in Call of Duty to Say, the Microsoft Show or something like that like they did. in the past. Instead, they’ll debut this fall’s episode in Warzone later this year. The times are changing.

Microsoft seems to have enjoyed remaining a staple of E3 and running the show with the most traditional stage show that really sticks into the whole effort. Nintendo has produced only non-live direct and then has hosted its Treehouse event in recent years.

It’s an interesting time for E3, but it doesn’t look like developers have to meet a hard and fast deadline to show anything anymore, in many cases. I go into all of this more in the video above.

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