In 2021, E3 is all digital once again — except that the world’s biggest gaming companies have more than a month or two to prepare, unlike last year. The world-famous gaming convention will see keynotes and press conferences from the likes of Nintendo, Microsoft, Square Enix, Ubisoft and much more — and will be free for all.
E3 this year runs from June 12 to June 15. We don’t know the entire schedule yet — many brands, including Square Enix, have committed to the show without revealing the time and date of their presentations — but we’ll update this list as more information comes available. We’ll also update it with links to the streams.
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This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything happening at E3, but scroll down for all the big showings you need to know about.
Note: You’ll notice Sony is not on this list — that’s because it has confirmed that it’s once again skipping E3.
Summer Game Fest
The cancellations of E3 and GamesCom left a big hole for game companies around the world, which lost a high-profile platform to strut their stuff. Gaming personality Geoff Keighley helped fill that hole with Summer Game Fest, an ongoing series of events that lasted four months. It saw announcements for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Star Wars: Squadrons.
This year’s Game Fest kicks off right before E3, on June 10. You can expect some big reveals here.
When: June 10, 11 a.m. PT/ 2 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. BST/ 4 a.m. June 11 AEST.
Ubisoft is the first big game developer (that we know of) that will run its own press conference at E3 2021. Ubisoft hasn’t said what it’ll show at Ubisoft Forward, but expect to see Far Cry 6, which is due for release this year, as well as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine.
And, hopefully, a nice surprise or two.
When: June 12, 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET/8 p.m. BST/5 a.m. June 13 AEST.
Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase
Microsoft officially acquired ZeniMax Media, the owner of Bethesda, back in March, but we still don’t know what exactly that means for the future of Bethesda. We’ll get a good idea on June 13 at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase — expect some new game announcements, as it’s been said in the past that, while not all Bethesda games will be exclusive to Xbox and PC, several will be.
When: June 13, 10 a.m. PT/1p.m. ET/6 p.m. BST/3 a.m. June 14 AEST.
Nintendo Direct is coming too E3, as Nintendo will be capping the convention out with its presentation. It’ll last around 40 minutes, Nintendo says, and focus primarily on Switch games coming out this year. Afterward, you can stick around for three hours of gameplay footage from various titles.
When: June 15, 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET/5 p.m. BST/2 a.m. June 16 AEST.
Square Enix Showcase
Yuffie is coming to Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but only on PS5.
Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix’s president, said that the company will be at E3, and will show off a lineup of games. We don’t know when that showcase will happen or what those games will be — but let’s all pray together for Final Fantasy 16 details. Whatever Square Enix shows, it’s likely to be something big: It just unveiled Dragon Quest 12 at an event in Japan, which is a big deal, so whatever it’s saving for E3 should (hopefully) be even juicier.
GameSpot’s Play For All
Alongside the mania of E3, our sister site GameSpot will be running Play For All. It’s a series of streams, events and interviews with industry figures, all for the purpose of raising money for charity. This year’s cause is AbleGamers, a group that provides equipment to disabled gamers to make the industry more accessible for all. The schedule, which will soon be updated, can be found here.