E3 2021 won’t look like past E3 events, as large gatherings are still not too common for industry events in the United States yet. Rather than host a large, in-person event like we’ve seen every other year except 2020, the ESA has chosen to host a digital show featuring a number of development and publishing partners. This will give everyone the chance to see trailers and announcements online while also giving companies the freedom to run events their own way. GameSpot is also participating in the gaming frenzy this June as an official E3 partner and the return of Play For All, which includes supporting AbleGamers.
It can be a lot to keep track of, particularly if you’re used to the more rigid schedule of traditional E3 events. However, game companies have started to announce when they’ll be hosting their own events, and we’ve organized them to make it as easy as possible to plan your personalized E3 viewing party. You can view a bulleted overview below and a more detailed list of events further down the page.
- Wholesome Direct: June 12 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET
- Ubisoft Forward: June 12 at noon PT / 3 PM ET
- Devolver Digital: June 12 at 1:30 PT / 4:30 ET
- Gearbox Software: June 12 at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET
- UploadVR Showcase: June 12 at 3 PM PT / 3 PM ET
- Xbox and Bethesda: June 13 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET
- PC Gaming Show: June 13 at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET
- Square Enix: June 13 at 12:15 PM PT / 3:15 PM ET
- Take-Two Interactive: June 14 at 10:15 AM PT / 1:15 PM ET
- Capcom: June 14 at 2:30 PM PT / 5:30 PM ET
- Verizon: June 14 at 3 PM PT / 6 PM ET
- Nintendo: June 15 at 9 AM PT / noon ET
- Bandai Namco: June 15 at 2:25 PM PT / 5:25 PM ET
- EA Play: July 22, time TBD
When is E3 2021?
E3 2021 Hype, Speculation, What We Want To See | GameSpot After Dark
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E3 2021 will take place from June 12 through June 15, and participating publishers will be hosting their own events within that timeframe.
However, we won’t be limiting this breakdown to only official E3 events, because several publishers have chosen to forgo the ESA’s structure for their own events. EA and Sony are two of the biggest players to do this in the past, and we will include their events if and when they announce them independently.
How to watch E3 2021
This year’s digital E3 will be available through a dedicated portal that will launch alongside the event itself on June 12. This portal will give fans access to virtual booths and social lounges where they can meet each other and use forums. The booths will feature information from the different game publishers to make it easier to find the games you care about, and they’ll also house VOD content.
There are a whole bunch of different distribution partners, as well, which are available depending on your location:
- YouTube Gaming
- Facebook Gaming
- Entertainment Weekly
- Max: Monsters and Explosions
- 3D Juegos
- Vida Extra
- Jeux Video
- IGN Brasil
E3 2021 Schedule
June 5 only
Indie Live Expo: 2 AM PT / 5 AM ET
One of the earliest events happening this year is the Indie Live Expo, a Japanese indie game extravaganza that will feature more than 300 different games. As you can see from the time, this is probably one you will want to watch after its live broadcast, but there will be English-language and Chinese-language presenters in addition to the Japanese hosts, as well as live music.
June 5 and June 12
The Guerrilla Collective: 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET
Digital games festival The Guerrilla Collective returns for 2021, and there are two separate shows happening this year. Coming on the first two Saturdays in June, the show celebrates smaller games with a variety of trailers, announcements, demonstrations, and interviews. For games off the beaten path that you may otherwise not hear about, it’s the show you want to see.
Netflix Geeked Week
A little different from our other E3 events, as it’s not focused exclusively on video games, Netflix Geeked Week will feature a whole bunch of news and trailers on various Netflix series. These have included video game-themed shows in the past, like Castlevania, and with that series coming to an end, we could be in for more exciting information regarding other game-themed animated or live-action shows.
Playdate Handheld Update: 9 AM PT / noon ET
We’ll get a short Playdate Update video showcase presentation on June 8 that will include information on what you’ll actually be able to preorder the unique little handheld system, as well as which games will be included in its Season 1 lineup. We do know that there will be 24 games included in this season, and the console is getting an internal storage boost to 4 GB. The system was originally supposed to release back in 2020.
Battlefield Reveal: 7 AM PT / 10 AM ET
Battlefield 2042 got its first official reveal on June 9, though the trailer was largely a CG introduction to the game prior to a full gameplay reveal. A beta is coming, and the multiplayer-only title will feature the return of Conquest and other familiar content alongside brand-new experiences. It’ll be available for current-gen and last-gen consoles as well as PC on October 22.
Summer Game Fest and Day of the Devs
Geoff Keighley is once again not associated with E3 this year, and has instead organized another Summer Game Fest to offer game announcements and news over several months. It began on June 10 with his Kickoff stream, and a whole bunch of games got updates and new information. None of that mattered, however, because there was an Elden Ring gameplay trailer at the end and we can’t remember anything else.
Koch Primetime Gaming Stream: Noon PT / 3 PM ET
Koch Media, the parent company of Deep Silver, will be hosting its own E3 event on June 11. Details are scarce now, but we do know Deep Silver is not planning to show TimeSplitters, Saints Row, or Dead Island at all during E3. It appears the event will not include sister company THQ Nordic, though that company’s official Twitter account hinted that it could hold its own separate event.
Wholesome Direct: 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET
Returning from last year, the Wholesome Direct will feature more than 75 different games, including Ooblets and Moonglow Bay. Some will get released during the show itself, and there will also be exclusive footage and interviews with game developers during the show.
Ubisoft Forward: Noon PT / 3 PM ET
Ubisoft Forward began last year after the cancellation of E3 2020, giving the publisher a chance to show off and announce its games. We actually got two separate Ubisoft Forward presentations last year, and it’s possible that could be planned again. Far Cry 6 and VR-based Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell projects are in the works, as well as the extreme sports game Riders Republic. There will be a pre-show one hour before the main event.
Devolver Digital: 1:30 PT / 4:30 ET
Small game publisher Devolver Digital, known primarily for releasing indie-style games like Hotline Miami and My Friend Pedro, will “probably” be holding its conference on June 12, according to its Twitter account. In general, these conferences don’t actually contain very much information on upcoming games, and instead skewer AAA publishers’ conferences with lots of cursing and even the occasional death.
Gearbox Software: 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET
Gearbox Software, developers of Borderlands and now a subsidiary of the Embracer Group, will be holding a presentation during E3 on June 12. Though it’s not clear what’s going to be included, we expect to hear some more information about the upcoming Eli Roth-directed film, as details regarding its cast have been slowly trickling out over the last few months. We also know the eccentric Randy Pitchford will be making an appearance.
UploadVR Showcase: 3 PM PT / 6 PM ET
The UploadVR Showcase is back for E3 2021, and it will once again focus on announcements, trailers, and updates exclusively for VR games. It will cover content across Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, and PC-based VR devices, and it will run for nearly an hour. The previous showcase packed a whole lot of news and trailers into its timeslot, with very little downtime or banter in between announcements.
Xbox and Bethesda: 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET
Microsoft’s event this year is probably going to look a lot different than in years past, and not just because of the digital format. As of earlier this spring, Bethesda is part of Xbox Game Studios, meaning the publisher’s own content will be included in the Xbox show instead of in a separate conference. That could also make the Xbox show one of the longer ones we see this year, as it’s planned to be 90 minutes, and we’ll surely see something on the upcoming Halo Infinite. The game is currently scheduled to launch this fall, and other games coming to Xbox this holiday season will be included.
PC Gaming Show and Future Games Show: 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET (for PC Gaming Show)
PC Gamer and GamesRadar will once again host the PC Gaming Show and Future Games Show, respectively, on June 13. These events typically have more of a talk show format, particularly the former, and focus on a variety of games. That includes lots of indie titles, and there are also opportunities for deeper gameplay dives and questioning than we typically see in the other press conferences.
Square Enix: 12:15 PM PT / 3:15 PM ET
Square Enix has gotten into the habit of holding its own conferences for the last several years, and it will have a presentation for E3 2021. Details are scarce, but we do know the show will include a new game from Eidos Montreal, as well as an update on Platinum Games’ Babylon’s Fall. We’ll also see a whole lot more on Life is Strange: True Colors and Life is Strange: Remastered Collection.
Take-Two Interactive: 10:15 AM PT / 1:15 PM ET
The parent company of both 2K Games and Rockstar Games will host a presentation, and with PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions of Grand Theft Auto V on the way for November, we could hear more about that. Other franchises from the company include BioShock, Mafia, XCOM, and the 2K Sports games.
Capcom: 2:30 PT / 5:30 ET
Capcom hasn’t usually hosted full E3 conferences in the past, but it’s hosting a showcase this year with a focus on four games: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, Monster Hunter Rise, Monster Hunter Stories 2, and Resident Evil Village. It’s unclear if that’s all the company has in store, so there’s potentially room for information on other series such as Street Fighter or Devil May Cry, as well.
Razer E3 Keynote: 3 PM PT / 6 PM ET
Razer will be holding its own press conference, which it has dubbed a “Keynote,” with CEO Min-Liang Tan on June 14. Razer is keeping things very vague regarding the content to the extent that a contest is being held to guess the announcements. Winners have a chance to win a Razer Orochi V2 mouse, and in the past, events have revealed everything from gaming chairs and PC cases to charity initiatives.
Verizon Keynote Stream: 9 PM PT / midnight ET
Everyone’s favorite gaming company, Verizon–wait, Verizon? Yes, the communications technology giant will be hosting an E3 keynote this year to discuss 5G and gaming. The technology is rumored to be used in an unannounced streaming service from Verizon, and it’s possible we could hear more about this during the keynote.
Nintendo: 9 AM PT / noon ET
Nintendo didn’t release a Nintendo Direct presentation last year in the wake of E3’s cancellation, but the company is confirmed for E3 2021 and will be hosting a 40-minute Nintendo Direct as well as a three-hour Nintendo Treehouse gameplay stream. Its E3 Nintendo Direct events are almost always fantastic, offering big news on a variety of first-party Nintendo Switch games. With such a long period of no information on games like Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3, it would seemingly be the right time to give some updates, but most of the games at the software-exclusive presentation will be released in 2021.
Bandai Namco: 2:25 PM PT / 5:25 PM ET
Bandai Namco is quite the prolific publisher, and it’s hosting its own event on the last day of E3. Current games in development include Tales of Arise, Scarlet Nexus, and a little game no one has ever talked about called Elden Ring. Because of its current lineup, we expect the presentation to be RPG-focused, but that could change with new announcements.
EA was one of the first big publishers to break away from E3, instead choosing to host its own EA Play festivities at the same time. The company will also be holding an EA Play event in 2021, but this time it will be a virtual event on July 22. The Battlefield 6 reveal is happening the month prior, so we’ll likely see gameplay during EA Play–typically, longer gameplay demonstrations are used at the event, as EA hosts festivities beyond a simple press conference.
Participating, Have Not Held Conferences In Past
- Warner Bros.
- Koch Media
- Bandai Namco
- Turtle Beach
- Devious Eye Entertainment
- Freedom Games
- Xseed/Marvelous USA
PlayStation was not listed among E3 partners when the ESA revealed its plans for the show. This would keep in line with what Sony has done over the last few years, as it has offered State of Play presentations without hosting a huge, blockbuster event. With the PS5 now available, however, we could see some sort of separate event.