Video game trade show E3 opens virtual doors to all players next month

May 13, 2021, 5:15 PM UTC

E3, the annual trade show of the video game industry, is pulling back the curtain on what attendees can expect this year.

The show, which previously announced it would be virtual this year, will be split into two segments. The first part is a media-only, five-day window, followed by a separate, free experience for the gaming public.

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Members of the media will gain access to the show’s portal on Monday, June 7. For the next few days they will be able to meet virtually with video game publishers and watch video presentations from studios showing off upcoming games.

On June 12, E3 will open up more broadly. The organizers are set then to begin a four-day broadcast of events, videoconferences, and a virtual show floor that gamers can explore.

Forums, leaderboards, and other gamified show elements will also be part of the public version of E3. The show’s online portal and app will lay “the foundation for an interactive E3,” says Stanley Pierre-Louis, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the industry trade group that organizes the confab.

Registration is required. Media members and the general public should be able to start signing up later this month, ESA said.

E3 has traditionally been the center of the video game world’s major announcements, but the show hosts did not hold an event last year owing to the pandemic. Many publishers opted to host their own online presentations instead. Many major companies have chosen not to officially participate in this year’s virtual E3, including Sony, Electronic Arts, and Konami.

“From the moment we decided to host E3 virtually, we’ve been focused on providing an interactive experience for fans around the globe that goes beyond the typical livestream,” said Pierre-Louis in a statement.

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