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E3 2021 schedule: Live event is ‘canceled’ per official LA documents; is it still happening?

E3 2014 featuring the Square Enix's Nosgoth lounge. | Photo credit: Aranami / Flickr with Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Official documents from Los Angeles officials indicate that the once-rumored Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) live events this year have been canceled. However, the same source offers some hope that the video game convention could still happen.

E3 2021 live events are reportedly canceled

E3 was undoubtedly one of the most anticipated annual gaming trade shows by fans around to world. Despite its popularity and status, it was not spared by the COVID-19 pandemic last year. And it does not look like hosting events with in-person attendance is an option this year either.

The new information comes from a Board of Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development Commission document, as first spotted by VGC. It lists E3 2021 as one of the anticipated citywide conventions “on the books” this year but with a note that reads, “Cancelled live event in 2021.” However, it does not mean the entire convention is no longer happening.

In the same paper, the authorities also noted that E3 2021 organizer, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), is exploring options to broadcast events from the LA Convention Center and the LA Live entertainment complex. The document also reveals that licenses for E3 2022 and 2023 were already filed.

VGC noted that it remains to be seen how the actual E3 2021 will unfold since most aspects of the convention will have to go be approved by members of the ESA. The organization said in the report that game developers and publishers have been responding well to the prospect of having E3 this year. “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,” ESA said.

However, there was no hint at which companies will participate in this year’s E3. Organizers might have to come up with some solid pitches if E3 is bound to become an all-digital convention in 2021. Many developers and game publishers might have already gotten the hang of hosting their own live-streamed presentations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

E3 2021: When is it happening?

Before the pandemic, E3 conventions normally run for three days and are attended by many people from outside LA. In 2018, E3 recorded one of its largest crowds ever with more than 69,000 attendees.

While the official website of E3 does not have information about its schedule, the same LA document has. The convention was listed with June 15 “arrival date.” If not changed, the digital version of E3 2021 could run on June 15-17.

Featured photo by Aranami on Flickr with Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

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