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That’s according to GamesBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, who claimed in a video show on Friday that Microsoft is currently talking to publishers about a June event. This matches what VGC has heard from our own sources.
“I’ll probably have more to say on this soon, but it’s in June, not May,” Grubb said. “Well, they might do something in May or September, I don’t know, but I know that they’re planning for an E3-style show in June.
“They’re talking to partners to get big games in there. That is ongoing right now and it’s March, so it’s not like they can change that train or turn that big ship around. They are heading in that direction and they’re going to do something in that timeframe.”
Microsoft held its previous E3-style showcase alongside newly-acquired Bethesda last June. The year before, its big games event took place in July.
E3 has cancelled this year’s physical event for the third year in a row and is yet to confirm plans for a digital event. Last year, The ESA held three days of live-streamed coverage to replace the physical show.
Even before the pandemic, E3’s organiser The ESA was already facing significant pressure to reinvent the flagship games industry event , with several major publishers including EA, Sony and Activision having abandoned the event in recent years – and that was before 2020’s cancellation, after which many companies such as EA and Ubisoft enjoyed success running their own digital events.
Commenting on a VGC report last year, former Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aimé said that he believed The ESA needs to act fast if it is to save the historical games event.
Speaking to Gamertag Radio, Fils-Aimé said he saw reports about E3 going digital and wasn’t enthused. “I have to say that what I read doesn’t sound all that compelling,” he said.
“If I were king for a day, I’ll tell you how I would do it,” he said. “I do think doing this digitally is absolutely right and the reason for that is, there are more than the 60,000 people who would typically attend an E3. There are millions more interested in finding out what’s going on and executing an event digitally is the way to bring that to life, so that’s the right track.
Having said that, I think that the platform holders need to find a way digitally to enable their fans, their players, to experience the content because that’s the key for E3 right – the ability to be playing The Last of Us Part 3 for the first time, or to play that next Breath of the Wild game for the first time, or to play the next great game coming from the new amalgamation of all the Xbox studios.
“To play for the first time is what’s magical and the platform holders need to figure out how to deliver that experience to their fans during an E3-like digital experience. I think that would be huge.”