According to a new report, this years Electronic Entertain Expo, or E3, might be partially locked behind a paywall. This comes as the industry's event is still trying to figure out its direction as the expo has lost relevance in recent years thanks to the rise in streaming and other means for companies to reach consumers.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo has not had an easy few years, even before the pandemic shut down the event last June. As more and more companies have broken away from the industry's premiere event in favor of their own, E3 has had to reinvent itself some, such as having consumers come out to the expo for a few years, and more.
This year's digital event is no different, as E3 has to figure out a way to get publishers and game developers to use their platform to showcase the latest and greatest in the industry, versus just going direct to consumers themselves. Per a new report by VGC, however, one aspect of E3's digital event might not sit well with the consumers its hoping to reach.
Video Games Chronicle reported that the digital event is being pitched to publishers right now, and has plans to include a paywall, stressing to publishers that E3 (now the Electronic Entertainment Experience) was not a in-person even turned digital. Video Games Chronicle reported that multiple sources told the outlet that E3 had plans to gate some of the content away behind a paywall, even approaching Nvidia to utilize its GeForce Now streaming platform to deliver game demos and more to people during the event.
E3 has come out in response to the report to publicly refute those claims, iterating that E3 2021 will be "free for all" to experience.
"E3’s 2021 digital show is a free event for all attendees. We’re excited to fill you in on all the real news for the event very soon," the expo's official Twitter account states.
E3’s 2021 digital show is a free event for all attendees. We’re excited to fill you in on all the real news for the event very soon. https://t.co/HzTzaQEosx— E3 (@E3) April 1, 2021
An E3 spokesperson doubled down on this in a statement to VGC in response to their reporting today stating that there will be "no elements of E3 2021 that will be behind a paid-for-pass or paywall." VGC notes their original statement to the outlet stated that E3 would be delivering a free experience for viewers, but "didn't specifically rule out paid-for features."
The news, and the fact that E3 being free to watch from home, comes at a time where the Electronic Entertainment Expo is seemingly still trying to find its footing in the new gaming climate, as even before the pandemic rocked in-person events last year it seemed as though the show's relevance was waning. This is thanks to multiple companies like Electronic Arts, Activision, Sony and more pulling their booths, with some even opting to run their own digital and in-person events alongside the show with great success.