Following a year off as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, E3 will return next month as an all-digital event. It’s free—despite what some earlier reports suggested—but you’ll still have to register if you want access to what passes as a show floor at an online event without an actual show floor.
Registration will kick off in various phases, the Entertainment Software Association announced in a press release today. On May 31, industry professionals and “creators/influencers” will be able to sign up. On June 3, registration opens up to everyone. You can sign up right here.
Signing up gives you the keys to an app (ugh) and a portal (double ugh), that will allow you access to events, forums, and digital “booths.” You’ll even be able to create an avatar and profile. Yes, the ESA has gamified the big game showcase.
You don’t need to play the ESA’s game to catch the event. E3 will also stream on basically every digital platform on the web, including Twitch and YouTube. “This will be the first time ever that E3 will be freely available across all of these major services,” Stanley Pierre-Louis, president and CEO of the ESA, said in a press release last week.
E3 2021 runs from June 12 through June 15. Most of the industry’s heavy hitters—Nintendo, Xbox, Square Enix, Take Two, Capcom, and so on—will be there. There’s no firm schedule yet, but Ubisoft’s “Ubisoft Forward” event is scheduled for a 3pm ET start on June 12. It’s preceded by the always lovely Wholesome Direct, at 1pm. (Here’s the whole schedule of E3 and not-E3 events.)