Microsoft and Nintendo sign up for a free, all-digital E3

This year's event runs from June 12th to 15th, and Sony probably won't be involved.

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The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has confirmed its plans for this year’s E3. After canceling last year's event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ESA is bringing back E3 as an all-digital show that will be completely free to virtually attend. It will take place between June 12th and 15th.

Nintendo and Xbox are among the big names who’ll be part of E3, along with Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games and Koch Media. The ESA says there will be more additions to that lineup, but as it stands, the notable omissions include Sony, EA, Activision Blizzard, Square Enix, Sega and Bandai Namco. Sony skipped E3 2019 and was going to do the same last year, so it wouldn’t be surprising for the company to forego this year’s edition as well.

There has been lots of discussion about the future of E3 over the last year or so, and whether the event still has a viable place in the industry. In the absence of E3 2020, many developers and publishers ran their own digital showcases and others got some shine from the likes of Summer Game Fest. However, the ESA is planning to hold E3 2022 as an in-person event, so it’s clearly confident that the trade show will remain a fixture of the gaming calendar.