Electronic Entertainment Expo eyes an online pivot

There's really no reason to leave the house


When all of this hellishness is over and in the rear view a decade or two from now, historians will remember 2020 as the year everything moved online. And that’s continuing in 2021, with news today that the Electronic Entertainment Expo is considering going strictly digital for its next edition.

First, the suggestion that everything is now online isn’t 100 percent accurate. As much as you can take a digital stroll through the park by pulling on your Oculus headset, there’s little denying you feel better by getting a little fresh air once or twice a month. But why bother going to the grocery store, movies, theatre, shooting range, ski hill, or local boxing ring when you’ve got your laptop, smart phone, Xbox, or Commodore64? More than ever, the entire world is at your fingertips.

It’s not exactly breaking news that COVID-19 has been both awful and great for the booming world of esports. The downside has been huge for those with a stake in enterprises like the Overwatch League, where the pandemic has torpedoed planned live matches in arenas across North America. On the positive side, with many of us sitting around the house with hours to kill, we’ve tuned into esports in a big way online.

And that bodes well for the 2021 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The event also known as E3 has the proverbial rug pulled out from underneath it last year when COVID-19 upended the world. And with the pandemic still wreaking havoc across the globe, organizers have recognized there’s little upside to staging a physical version of the event in 2021.

The Video Games Chronicle has reported that E3 is pulling together plans for a digital version of the showcase. Traditionally the Electronic Entertainment Expo is where major gaming announcements are made by some of the industry’s major players.

VGC reports that there are plans for a three-day event from June 15 to 17. The showcase will be live-streamed and include everything from an awards show and previews to presentations from gaming influencers and publishers.

Still, there are details that need to be ironed out, including getting the greenlight by the gaming companies who are part of the Entertainment Software Association, which organizes E3.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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