Microsoft and Nintendo sign up for a free, all-digital E3

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed its plans for this year’s E3. After canceling last year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESA is bringing E3 back as a fully digital show that will be completely free to attend virtually. It will take place between June 12 and 15.

Nintendo and Xbox are among the big names at E3, along with Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media. ESA says there will be more additions to that lineup, but as it stands, notable omissions include Sony, EA, Activision Blizzard, Square Enix, Sega, and Bandai Namco. Sony skipped E3 2019 and was going to do the same last year, so it wouldn’t be surprising if the company gave up on this year’s edition as well.

There has been a lot of discussion about the future of E3 over the last year and whether the event still has a viable place in the industry. In the absence of E3 2020, many developers and publishers held their own digital presentations and others got some sparkle thanks to the Summer Game Fest. However, ESA plans to celebrate E3 2022 as an in-person event, so it is clearly confident that the fair will remain a fixture on the gaming calendar.

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