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Nintendo, Xbox and Ubisoft back digital-only E3 2021

But PlayStation and EA remain absent

E3 2021 will return this June in digital form, and has been backed by Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two, Warner Bros and Koch Media.

It's a strong line-up, especially with the two platform holders on-board, however there are some notable absentees, including Sony, EA, Activision Blizzard, Sega, Bandai Namco and Square Enix. The event takes place between June 12 and June 15, so there is still time for other publishers to sign up.

This year's show will be online-only, but very little details are available besides that. The press release states that developers will be 'showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world', with the ESA working with media to 'amplify and make this content available to everyone for free'. GamesIndustry.biz understands this may take the form of media-only days and streaming technology.

"For more than two decades, E3 has been the premier venue to showcase the best that the video game industry has to offer, while uniting the world through games," said ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis.

"We are evolving this year's E3 into a more inclusive event, but will still look to excite the fans with major reveals and insider opportunities that make this event the indispensable center stage for video games."

It's been a challenging 12 months for the games event business, but E3 was under pressure even before the pandemic, with long-term supporter Sony announcing it wouldn't be attending the show last year (prior to its COVID-related cancellation). The PlayStation company joined EA, which also hadn't supported E3 for several years.

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Christopher Dring avatar

Christopher Dring

Head of Games B2B

Chris is a 15-year games business veteran. He spent nine years at UK business weekly MCV, including five years as editor. He joined GI in 2016 and oversees editorial, sales and events worldwide. He is the architect behind Best Places To Work Awards and GI Live. And is a tiny bit obsessed with market data. He also writes for Doctor Who Magazine. Because Doctor Who is awesome.