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E3 2021 proposal pitches a digital show with streaming keynotes, press demos

The ESA is shopping around one particular spin on E3 that envisions the 2021 event as a four day long digital showcase.

The ESA is shopping around one particular spin on E3 that envisions the 2021 event as a three day long digital showcase rather than a physical event held in LA this summer, though the revamp has yet to recieve the official go-ahead.

According to documents acquired by the team at VGC, the current proposal for E3 2021 pitches a digital spin on the event featuring live streamed content across June 15-17 that would feature an awards show, keynotes from major game companies, and ways to link developers up with media and influencers despite the digital divide.

The proposal is currently making the rounds within ESA-affiliated game publishing circles, though some companies VGC spoke with ahead of its report say they're more interested in running their own digital showcase than joining in on E3. The publication adds that the publisher sources it spoke to for its report said that it is their understanding that the ESA is prioritizing a digital E3 event and that the showcase will not have a physical component this year due to COVID-19.

The ESA announced those June 15-17 dates after E3 2020 was canceled last year due to the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but understandably hadn't fleshed out exact what that reimagined show would look like at that time. The proposal detailed in VGC's full story still requires approval from ESA members, and the ESA offered a statement to the publication that it'll have something to announce on that front soon.

“We can confirm that we are transforming the E3 experience for 2021 and will soon share exact details on how we’re bringing the global video game community together,” reads that statement to VGC. “We are having great conversations with publishers, developers and companies across the board, and we look forward to sharing details about their involvement soon.”

Of course, E3 was in rocky waters even before the pandemic hindered its ability to put on its yearly gathering. Prior to being canceled, the ESA was planning to revamp the show as a 'fan, media, and influencer festival' (according to another leaked pitch deck) to recapture the attention of companies like Sony that had opted not to participate in the 2019 and ill-fated 2020 events.

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