Official Los Angeles city documents confirm E3 2021’s physical event has been canceled

The digital event is still on, with potential backing from the city.

Image via ESA

Earlier this month, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, widely known as E3, was reported to be working on a new digital event for June. 

That report from the Video Games Chronicle has now been backed by another document posted by the Board of Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development, which notes that physical plans for an E3 event have been canceled. 

Originally discovered by Resetera user Rösti, the document details a meeting for March 3, lists several big events that usually take place in Los Angeles, and shows each event’s current plans for this year. This includes everything from Anime Expo, the LA Marathon, and conventions for various technology and health industries. 

E3 was one of the names featured and was listed as a “cancelled live event” for 2021, with a noted start date of June 15. This lines up with the E3 proposal that had the event running in the same June 15 to 17 timeframe. 

The document shows that the Entertainment Software Association, the company behind organizing the event, is working with a production team and the LA Convention board on alternatives. This includes broadcast options that will run from the Los Angeles Convention Center and LA Live complex. 

The LA City board notes it is working on a license for E3 that will be valid for 2022 and 2023. 

With the previous report of the ESA moving forward with plans for three days of livestreamed coverage instead of a physical event, this information isn’t surprising. As of now, the plan is to “hold multiple two-hour keynote sessions from games partners, an awards show, a June 14 preview night and other smaller streams from games publishers, influencers and media partners.”

“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,” an ESA spokesperson told 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.”

E3 2020 was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last June, and this marks the second year in a row without a physical event. 

With that cancellation, game developers and publishers mostly ran their own digital events, with many like Microsoft and Ubisoft joining Nintendo, EA, and Sony in showing off their own products instead of using an event to do so. It is unclear how E3 2021 will look if some publishers decide to not participate again and continue doing their own thing. 

More details should be shared in the coming months, and any proposal that the ESA has submitted or is still working on will need to be approved by its members, which include several of the gaming industry’s biggest companies and publishers.