E3 2021 is going ahead, but it’s going to look a little different than in previous years. The gaming conference will be online-only, running from June 12 to June 15, and promises that developers will be “showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world”, and despite initial speculation, E3 will be “available to everyone for free”.
E3 2021 will have three hosts, all known personalities within the gaming industry: Greg Miller, the co-founder of entertainment outlet Kinda Funny; Jacki Jing, an Emmy-nominated TV journalist, host and producer who has worked with IGN, Nerdist and others; and Alex ‘Goldenboy’ Mendez, a professional esports commentator and commentator for NBC’s The Titan Games. These three hosts will share the job of guiding this year’s show, providing commentary, interviews with publishers and developers, and more.
Following the cancelation of E3 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it remained unclear whether E3 2021 would still go ahead in some form. A digital event was set to take place in 2020 but, due to a lack of support, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) decided to scrap the event altogether – with Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest taking center stage for gaming announcements instead.
But this year looks to be different and a handful of publishers have already confirmed they’ll be attending E3 2021, including Xbox and Nintendo. But, there are also some notable absences too (we’re looking at you, Sony), with some publishers opting to take part in Summer Game Fest instead. Read on for everything we know so far about E3 2021.
E3 2021 schedule
Below, we’ve rounded up all the confirmed dates and times for E3 2021’s conferences. We will continue to update this article as more conference details are confirmed.
Warhammer Skulls Showcase – June 3
Games Workshop’s annual event, previously called Skulls for the Skull Throne, has been rebranded to Warhammer Skulls. This week-long Warhammer event was kicked off with a showcase live on June 3.
The showcase included 14 big announcements including the reveal of Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters and updates for Total War: Warhammer 3 and Vermintide 2. You can watch the full showcase above.
Indie Live Expo – June 5
The Indie Live Expo took place on June 5 and is Japan’s largest indie game festival. This showcase (obviously) focused on indie titles, with 300 games showcased over the stream’s nearly six-hour running time. You can catch up on the full showcase above.
Guerrilla Collective Day One – June 5
The Guerrilla Collective is a digital games festival that primarily focuses on indie titles. This was the first of two Guerrilla Collective events, which seen a myriad of announcements on games including Omno, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Aeon Drive.
This stream was followed by the Black Voices in Gaming stream, which showcased games created by Black developers and titles featuring a Black protagonist.
Battlefield 6 reveal – June 9
#Battlefield RevealJune 9 pic.twitter.com/DvNEcCDtPgJune 1, 2021
Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live! – June 10
Summer Game Fest kicks off on June 10 with a live world premiere showcase hosted by Geoff Keighley and with a performance by Weezer. Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live! takes place on June 10 at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 6pm BST (or June 11 at 3am AEST) and will be available to watch for free on “all the major livestream platforms”, including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Koch Primetime Gaming Stream – June 11
New Event Added – Friday, June 11, Noon PT / 3 PM ET. #SummerGameFest pic.twitter.com/xPTrBNSdrOMay 28, 2021
Koch Media is hosting a stream on June 11 at 12pm PT / 8pm BST / 3pm ET (or June 12 at 5am AEST). The publisher owns the rights to notable franchises such as Saints Row, Metro Exodus and Timesplitters. While it’s unclear what the publisher will show, we may finally see Dead Island 2 again, which was initially revealed back at E3 2014. You can watch the stream here.
IGN Expo – June 11
IGN is set to hold an expo, as part of IGN’s Summer of Gaming, on June 11 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET / 9pm BST (or June 12 at 6am AEST). The showcase is set to feature new game reveals, never-before-seen gameplay, and exclusive announcements. You can watch the expo as part of Summer Game Fest or at IGN.
Ubisoft Forward – June 12
Ubisoft has confirmed it is hosting its next Ubisoft Forward conference as part of E3 2021. The digital conference is set to take place on June 12 at 12pm PT / 8pm BST / 3pm ET (or June 13 at 5am AEST). You will be able to catch all the action live at the Ubisoft Forward site and on the official Ubisoft YouTube channel.
Devolver Direct – June 12
New #SummerGameFest Event Just Added:@devolverdigitalSaturday, June 121:30 PM PT / 4:30 PM ETStay tuned to https://t.co/1ZwAhZ66ie for schedule updates. pic.twitter.com/7KBNncPg1jJune 4, 2021
Indie publisher Devolver Digital has confirmed it will be hosting a presentation as part of Summer Game Fest on June 12 at 1:30pm PT / 4:30pm ET / 9:30pm BST (or June 13 at 6:30am AEST). At the moment there’s no indication of what announcements to expect from Devolver but there isn’t long to find out!
Guerrilla Collective Day Two – June 12
The second day of Guerrilla Collective streams, this showcase is set to feature games including Hello Neighbor 2, Loot River, Grime, Sable and more. Day Two of the Guerrilla Collective takes place on June 5 at 8am PT / 4pm BST / 11am ET (or 1am AEST on June 6). You can watch it live on Twitch.
Gearbox Entertainment – June 12
The studio behind the Borderlands games is scheduled to hold its own presentation on June 12. Neither Gearbox nor the ESA have provided an exact start time or run time for the presentation and it remains unclear what we can expect to see during the presentation.
Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase – June 13
Microsoft confirmed that it is holding a games showcase on June 13 at 10am PT / 6pm BST / 1pm ET (or June 14 at 3am AEST). This showcase will be around 90 minutes long and is featuring games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks. You can watch it live on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
PC Gaming Show – June 13
The PC Gaming Show will see Sean “Day9″ Plott, Frankie Ward and Mica Burton hosting E3’s biggest celebration of PC games to date, with 39 new trailers, game announcements, and interviews beamed to audiences around the world. The PC Gaming Show takes place on June 13 at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm BST (or June 14 at 4am AEST). You can watch it here.
Square Enix Presents – June 13
Square Enix has confirmed that its Square Enix Presents stream will be taking place on June 13 at 12:15pm PT/ 3:15pm ET/ 8:15pm BST (or June 14 at 5:15am AEST).
This stream is going to last around 40 minutes and Square Enix has even given a vague list of what we can expect to see during the presentation, including the announcement of a new game from Eidos-Montréal, an update on Babylon’s Fall, fresh details on Marvel’s Avenger’s upcoming expansion and a deep dive on Life is Strange: True Colors. The stream can be watched on Square Enix’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
Future Game Show – June 13
The Future Game Show returns on June 13, as part of a double-header show alongside the PC Gaming Show. The Future Games Show will see a range of announcements and reveals on games across all platforms and genres, from AAA to indie.
Warner Bros Games – June 13
The ESA has confirmed that a presentation from Warner Bros. Games will take place on June 13, though exact start and run times have yet to be confirmed. The publisher has confirmed that Back 4 Blood is the only game that will be featured at this event.
Razer – June 14
Ultra-exciting announcements are on the horizon and we’re unveiling them during the Razer E3 Keynote on June 14th 3PM PDT. If you think you know what we’ve got up our sleeves, make a guess here https://t.co/qLlRLrDFZQ and stand a chance to win a Razer Orochi V2. pic.twitter.com/CadiSESwWSJune 5, 2021
Razer has announced that its presentation at E3 2021 will take place on June 14 at 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm BST (or June 15 at 8am AEST). The company has said it will be announcing some new products and giving viewers chances to win Razer prizes. You can watch the presentation on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.
Take-Two Interactive – June 14
Take-Two Interactive can be expected to present on June 14 but an exact time for the presentation is yet to be confirmed. As far as what we can expect to see from the publisher, it’s hard to tell as it has a lot to bring to the table.
Capcom will be taking the stage on the third day of E3 2021, though a time is yet to be announced for its presentation. There’s no news yet on what Capcom is going to be bringing to the show.
Nintendo Direct – June 15
The Nintendo Direct will be held on June 15 at 5pm BST / 9am PT / 12pm ET (or June 16 at 2am AEST) and is going to run for around 40 minutes, with a three-hour gameplay session happening afterward. The event is to be focused exclusively on Nintendo Switch software. You can watch it on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel.
Bandai Namco – June 15
Bandai Namco will be presenting on June 15 but a time is still to be confirmed. We’re also not sure what Bandai Namco will be showing, though Scarlet Nexus is a possibility ahead of its release. It’s safe to say Elden Ring fans will have everything crossed that the game might make an appearance, but nothing is certain.
E3 2021 Awards Show – June 15
The E3 2021 Awards show will be wrapping up E3 2021, taking place on June 15 with an exact start time still to be revealed. Selecting from titles shown across the four-day show, “editors from IGN, GameSpot, PC Gamer, GamesRadar, IGN China and GameBonfire will determine the winners for the Official E3 2021 Awards Show.”
Steam Next Fest – June 16 to June 22
Steam Next Fest (formerly Steam Game Festival) is a multi-day celebration of upcoming Steam games, featuring hundreds of demoes. It kicks off on June 16 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST (or June 17 at 3am AEST). You can catch it live on Steam’s YouTube channel.
Nacon Connect – July 6
Save the date, #NaconConnect is back on July 6, 2021!With new gameplay, exciting announcements, special guests and epic collaborations. See you there! pic.twitter.com/m6E5mJRMArJune 2, 2021
French publisher Nacon has announced that its own show, Nacon Connect, will take place on July 6 at 6pm BST/ 10am PT. With promises of “new gameplay, exciting announcements, special guests and epic collaborations”, it’s possible we could see an update on Lord of the Rings: Gollum here. You’ll be able to watch the show on Nacon’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
EA Play Live 2021 – July 22
Electronic Arts (EA) has confirmed that it will be skipping E3 and will instead hold its own summer games showcase, called EA Play Live. The event will be held on July 22, 2021, and while no games have officially been announced, we’d expect to get more information on Battlefield 6, FIFA 22 and Madden 22. More details are set to follow, but you can check out the event’s website here.
For the last few years, EA has opted to hold its own event, but it’s usually fallen around the same time as E3. It’s surprising, then, that the company’s event will take place over a month later than E3 2021, which will run from June 12 to June 15.
E3 2021 predictions
We’ve rounded up what we’re expecting from each publisher at E3 2021. These are our E3 2021 predictions.
We’re hoping E3 2021 will see Microsoft giving us a solid release date for Halo Infinite as well as officially announcing a new Forza Horizon game is in the works. We’re also hoping to hear more about Fable, which was confirmed to be in the works last year. We’re also hoping Bethesda will give us more details on Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, and set the record straight about whether both games will be Xbox platform exclusives.
We’re hoping Nintendo will use E3 to give us a release date (and more details) on Breath of the Wild 2, gameplay footage of Splatoon 3 and Bayonetta 3, and maybe a closer look at the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes and Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
We still don’t know about Capcom’s sci-fi adventure Pragmata, which was announced last year, so we’re hoping for a better look at it at E3 2021. We’re also hoping to see more of Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Street Fighter 6. Capcom’s conference will take place on June 14 but with a start time and run time unconfirmed, it’s hard to tell what we might see.
Ubisoft will likely give us more details on Far Cry 6, plus a closer look at Rainbow Six Parasite, as well as an update on a few of the games we haven’t heard much on since their announcement: Skull & Bones and Beyond Good and Evil 2.
Ubisoft has already confirmed its pre-show will feature updates on live games such as For Honor, Trackmania, The Crew 2, Brawlhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion. The publisher has also confirmed that its main show will feature world premiere gameplay and trailers for Rainbow Six Parasite as well as further details on Far Cry 6. In addition there will be news on Riders Republic and updates on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Rainbow Six Siege. While not confirmed, we’re hoping there will be an update on two games we haven’t heard much on since their announcement: Skull & Bones and Beyond Good and Evil 2.
While we’re not necessarily expecting Take-Two to announce GTA 6 (though, who knows), it’s more likely we’ll get details on the enhancements and new features coming to GTA 5 on PS5 and Xbox Series X and news about upcoming GTA Online updates. It’s likely we’ll see an update on some 2K sports titles and maybe find out more about BioShock 4 or those Marvel XCOM and Borderlands spin-off rumors (though we may see the latter at the Gearbox conference). Take-Two still hasn’t confirmed a time for its conference, though the ESA has said that its presentation will take place on June 14.
Warners Bros. has confirmed that its E3 2021 conference, taking place on June 13, will only feature Back 4 Blood. But we’re still hopefully Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Gotham Knights and Hogwarts Legacy pop up during another E3 2021 conference – maybe the Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live event? We’re hoping to finally get a look at gameplay for Hogwarts Legacy and Suicide Squad – with maybe even rough release windows thrown in?
Square Enix has said that during its presentation it will be showing the world premiere of a new game from Eidos Montreal this E3, as well as giving an update on Babylon’s Fall and giving a closer look at Life is Strange: True Colors. There’ll also be an update of Marvel’s Avengers Black Panther expansion.
We’re not quite sure what to expect from Koch Media – which means the parent company of the likes of Deep Silver, Saber Interactive and Focus could have some surprises up its sleeve. We’re hoping one of those surprises is a new Dead Island or Saints Row. This could be likely as Koch has been teasing something “big”, even creating a website called weknowsomethingyoudontknow.com.
EA is holding its conference quite late, but we’re expecting the usual annual announcement on the likes of FIFA 22 and Madden 22. We’re also hoping to hear more about the upcoming Battlefield 6 and maybe a new Need for Speed game. It’s also likely we’ll hear more on The Sims 4 and (if we’re lucky) there may be an update on The Sims 5 – though this is super unlikely. Also, expect updates on Apex Legends.
It’s likely that Activision will focus on the new Call of Duty 2021 and Call of Duty: Warzone this E3. The publisher hasn’t confirmed its conference details but we expect that this will be when we finally get a firm name for the new Call of Duty, details on gameplay, as well as a release date. We’re also expecting an update to Warzone, likely to reflect this new release.
While Bandai Namco is most likely to give us an update on Tales of Arise and Scarlet Nexus, whether we’ll see Elden Ring remains to be seen. Since its reveal at E3 2019, we haven’t heard much about the FromSoftware/George R.R. Martin collaboration – and fans are getting impatient. We’re hoping we see even a glimpse of Elden Ring during Bandai Namco’s conference on June 15 – the final day of E3 – what a closer that would be.
What is E3 2021?
The E3 name stands for ‘Electronic Entertainment Expo’, and it’s been running in some form since 1995. Hosted by the Entertainment Software Association, E3 is a three-day convention to celebrate and showcase all things gaming, usually to publicize upcoming games and consoles – with a smattering of panel discussions and keynotes alongside the excitement of the show floor.
E3 2021 will be the 26th time the event is held, with the ESA cancelling E3 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But this year, rather than being held as an in-person event at the Los Angeles Convention Center (its home since 2009), E3 2021 is an entirely digital event.
When is E3 2021 and how much will it cost?
E3 2021 will take the form of an all-digital event that will run from June 12 to June 15, 2021. The ESA has confirmed that the event will consist of live press conferences and a four-day-long video stream. Digital attendees will also be able to keep track of everything that’s going on through the E3 app.
Despite speculation that parts of the event would be behind a paywall, the ESA has confirmed that E3 2021 will be entirely free for attendees.
Who is attending E3 2021?
Xbox, Nintendo, Capcom, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Warner Bros., EA, Koch Media, Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Gearbox and Xseed Games are all confirmed to be making an appearance at E3 this year, however, Sony is noticeably absent from the ESA’s list of commitments – instead taking part in Summer Game Fest.
One company that was scheduled to be present was Konami, which pulled out of the event “due to timing.” The company announced via Twitter that: “We want to reassure our fans that we are in deep development on a number of key projects, so please stay tuned for some updates in the coming months.”
It’s an impressive show of support for E3 2021, with many speculating that the online-only event would be largely ignored by the biggest companies in the industry. Having Xbox and Nintendo in attendance is a boon to the ESA, whose event was seen by many as ‘the Christmas of gaming announcements’ has diminished in recent years.
In a press release, ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said: “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. 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 center stage for video games.”
Sony’s absence at E3 2021
When the ESA first announced its list of early commitments, Sony was notably absent. After TechRadar contacted the organizer for confirmation on Sony’s absence, the ESA released the following statement to us:
“While, much like previous years, Sony does not plan to participate in E3, we continue to focus on delivering the leading and reimagined showcase for video game news, announcements, reveals, networking and interactivity that has made E3 a beloved experience for decades.”
This isn’t the first time Sony has ditched E3: the company again opted out of last year’s event (before its cancellation) in favor of its own State of Play and PS5 events, which closely mimic Nintendo’s successful Nintendo Direct presentation style. Sony also skipped E3 2019 entirely.
So what does Sony’s likely E3 absence mean for PS5? Well, we’ll still see new PS5 games from other publishers at the show, such as Ubisoft and Capcom, but it means the first-party exclusives that so many PlayStation fans are craving information about won’t be present.
It’s likely that Sony will host its own E3-styled event, where it can control the messaging, format and news cadence without the type of investment needed to be present at E3. Given that Sony is confirmed to be involved in Summer Game Fest in some capacity, this looks most likely.
With things a little different this year, it looks like a number of publishers are hosting their own tailored events, which either fall under the umbrella of E3, Summer Game Fest or both.
It’s a shame that Sony likely won’t be present taking part in E3 as it’s always been a celebration of major announcements and exclusive reveals, and with the platform holder not being involved directly, it dilutes the sense of occasion slightly. It also means that we’re left to speculate when Sony might reveal more information on its upcoming games like God of War: Ragnarok, Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon: Forbidden West.
E3 2021 vs Summer Games Fest
Summer Game Fest was set up by The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley and made its debut in 2020 – filling in the gap left by E3 2020. Last year’s Summer Game Fest was an online season of events bringing together 16 of the industry’s largest publishers, including Microsoft, Sony, Activision, Valve, Bethesda and Blizzard in a four-month cavalcade of news, trailers and game demos.
From May until August, the Summer Game Fest partnered with these publishers to release updates on game projects and announce new titles across social media platforms, as well as providing playable demos for attendees – Microsoft shared a staggering “between 75 and 100” game demos in total.
This year’s Summer Game Fest will apparently be more “condensed”, according to Keighley. The event still spans June and July, with a kickoff event on June 10 featuring world premieres.
This will be the first year we see E3 and Summer Game Fest taking place in the same timeframe, so it will be interesting to see which publishers and developers choose to showcase at E3 and which choose to do so at Summer Game Fest. It’s likely that others, probably Sony, will choose to host an independent conference instead.
E3 2021: what happened at E3 2019
Given that E3 2020 was canceled, the last E3 to take place was E3 2019. Even without Sony on show, there was still plenty to make 2019 a great year for E3. We had that wonderful Keanu Reeves appearance, and the news he was appearing in Cyberpunk 2077 (as seen above), new specs for the Xbox Series X, and that brilliant BOTW 2 teaser. We also got a full unveiling of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and updates on Apex Legends Season 2 from EA, and the announcement that Dark Souls dev From Software and Game of Throne‘s George R R Martin were collaborating on the upcoming game Elden Ring.
Square Enix had one of the better press events we’ve yet to see at E3 2019, packing in tons of new information on Marvel’s Avengers, Final Fantasy VII Remake and the remastered version of Final Fantasy 8.
It wasn’t all good news, though, with Animal Crossing: Horizons getting delayed, and the long-awaited Dragon Age 4 not getting so much as a mention. Ubisoft also didn’t show off a new Splinter Cell game (cowards!) or its much-delayed Beyond Good and Evil 2 – though it did find time for Just Dance 2020, and the announcement trailer for Gods and Monsters.
Here’s a full list of everything that was announced at E3 2019:
- Halo Infinite (release window, coming to Xbox Project Scarlett)
- Gears 5
- Blair Witch
- Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Xbox One and PC)
- Bleeding Edge
- Age of Empire II: Definitive Edition (PC)
- Wasteland 3
- Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC first, Xbox One later)
- Minecraft Dungeons
- Spiritfarer (coming to Xbox Game Pass)
- 12 Minutes (Xbox One and PC)
- Forza Horizon 4: Lego Speed Champions Expansion
- Crossfire X
- Gears Pop!
Take-Two Interactive/2K Games
Electronic Arts and EA Sports
CD Projekt Red
- Contra Rogue Corps (Xbox One PS4, PC and Switch)
- Contra Anniversary Collection
- Deathloop (Platforms unknown) (Trailer)
- Doom Eternal (Xbox One PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch)
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades (debuting on Nintendo Switch; iOS, Android updates)
- Fallout 76: Nuclear Winter (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC sneak peek)
- Ghostwire: Tokyo (Platforms unknown)
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood (PS4, Xbox One and PC)
- Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot (VR)
- Commander Keen (iOS and Android)
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake (PS4)
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (PS4, Nintendo Switch and mobile)
- Final Fantasy 8 Remastered
- Final Fantasy 14: Shadowbringers (PC)
- Circuit Superstars (Square Enix Collective, developer Original Fire)
- War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
- Romancing Saga 3
- Scarlett Grace
- Dragon Quest Builders 2
- The Last Remnant Remastered (coming to Nintendo Switch)
- Trials of Mana: Collection of Mana (coming to Switch)
- Ghost Recon Breakpoint (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC)
- The Division 2 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC)
- For Honor (Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC)
- Watch Dogs Legion (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Stadia) (game play available)
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (game update)
- Roller Champions (PC download available now, other platforms unknown)
- Gods & Monsters (Xbox One,PlayStation 4, PC, Stadia and Switch)
- Panzer Dragoon: Remake (Nintendo Switch)
- Phantasy Star Online 2 (Xbox One)
- SEGA Genesis mini console coming September 2019 with mini games like Mega Man:The Wily Wars, Earthworm Jim, Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2, Ecco the Dolphin and 35 more classic games.
- Tales of Arise
- Dragonball Z: Kakarot
- Code Vein
- The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
- Elden Ring (via FromSoftware)
- Dying Light 2 (from Techland)
- Way to the Woods (Team 17)
- Dauntless (coming to Nintendo Switch via Phoenix Labs)
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (En Masse Entertainment)
- Dead by Daylight (coming to Nintendo Switch via Koch Media)
- New Super Lucky’s Tale (coming to Nintendo Switch via Playful Corp.)
- Empire of Sin (John Romero multi-console game)
- Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (Playtonic)
- Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (via Edelweiss and XSEED Games)