E3 is just a few months away and the ESA is slowly starting to confirm its plans for digital content in lieu of a physical event this year. While reports yesterday claimed that parts of the show may be tucked behind a paywall, the ESA has since stated that the entire event will be free for all attendees.
Sources with knowledge of the ESA's plans spoke with VGC this week, claiming that one of the ideas floating around for E3 this year was to charge for access to some portions of the event, but there was some pushback on this from publishers. Shortly after this report went live, the ESA confirmed it will not be putting up a paywall for part of E3 2021:
E3’s 2021 digital show is a free event for all attendees. We’re excited to fill you in on all the real news for the event very soon. https://t.co/HzTzaQEosx
— E3 (@E3) April 1, 2021
This doesn't deny other portions of the report though. Sources claim that the ESA is hoping to partner up with Nvidia to deliver limited-time game demos via GeForce Now streaming. Notably, this is something that publishers have done over the past year to deliver game previews to journalists – Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay previews for instance, were delivered to journalists through GeForce Now streaming.
As cool as all of that sounds, publishing sources claim that some are planning to save their main reveals for independent events, likely due to the costs of being involved with E3 and obtaining broadcast time. Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Ubisoft, Square Enix and Activision have all had success running their own independent announcement streams in recent years.
KitGuru Says: E3 is going to be very different this year, but at the very least, we know it'll be free to watch. Still, whether or not people tune in largely depends on the companies present and making announcements, so hopefully a schedule is announced soon.