ESA Confirms E3 2021 Will Be Free Amid Rumors Of Paywalled Content

e3 2020 bannerThe Entertainment Software Association has confirmed that this year’s E3, now called Electronic Entertainment Experience, will be free-to-watch despite rumors to the contrary.

According to the Video Games Chronicle, multiple sources claimed that the ESA had pitched an idea to hide some of the event’s contents behind a paywall and charge $35 for exclusive on-demand demos and a premium package with access to extra content.

An ESA representative, however, was quick to issue a statement denying the rumors. “I can confirm on behalf of the ESA that there will be no elements at E3 2021 that will be behind a paid-for pass or paywall,” the representative told VGC.

Meanwhile, the ESA is still trying to court publishers and game developers to showcase their games and projects through the event. An offer that seems less appealing now than it did a few years ago, considering that publishers can easily hold their own digital events and tout their wares directly to the community.

“In 2021, E3 is much more…. Welcome to the Electronic Entertainment EXPERIENCE. International, Inclusive. Innovative, Irresistible and ‘in your hands’ wherever you live,” read the event’s marketing pitch.

“E3 2021 is NOT an in-person event turned virtual, E3 2021 is a vanguard and culturally significant digital tent-pole for all corners of the industry and its consumers, from mobile and PC gaming to eSports to watershed console and AAA debuts, all of which will generate massive mainstream attention, offer unprecedented secure game demos while accelerating your B2B, B2M and B2C objectives.”

The week-long event is scheduled to kick off on June 13 and will feature three days of streamed content followed by “a consumer experience” facilitated through the official E3 app.