When E3 was cancelled last year, the world’s biggest gaming companies had to scramble to find platforms to make their announcements and show off their biggest titles. E3 is all digital once again in 2021, but this time the likes of Nintendo, Microsoft, Square Enix and Microsoft have had more than a month or two to prepare. And best of all, it’s free for everyone.
E3 this year runs from June 12 to June 15. This isn’t an exhaustive list of everything happening at E3, but scroll down for all the big showings you need to know about.
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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.
Square Enix Presents
Square Enix’s keynote, called Square Enix Presents, takes place on E3 Day 2. The gaming giant has promised a world-premiere reveal from Eidos-Montreal, which many have speculated will be a Guardians of the Galaxy game. We’ve also been promised looks into Marvel’s Avengers’ Black Panther DLC, Life is Strange: True Color and Babylon Fall. No mention of Final Fantasy 16 — although Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade launches on June 10 — but we can cross our fingers.
When: June 13, 12:15 p.m. PT/3:15 p.m. ET/8:15 p.m. BST/ 5:15 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.
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 can be found here: The main event is the Play For All Showcase, which will highlight several new games from diverse developers, on June 15.
When: June 15, at 3:35 p.m. PT/ 6:35 p.m. ET/11:35 p.m. BST/June 16 8:35 a.m. AEST.