Things move fast in the gaming world don’t they? Before we even had a chance to report on the news that several sources had said that 2021’s digital E3 would need cash to access some parts, the ESA have since confirmed that E3 2021 WON’T have a paywall after all. What a rollercoaster.
For those not in the know, E3 has been the main gaming event in the calendar for a long time. It was the place for the game announcements, demos, cosplay and pure cringe stage events. E3’s relevance has been on the wane for some time now as many publishers have decided not to attend. With Covid hitting, last years and 2021’s events are purely digital affairs.
To paywall or not to paywall?
Rumours started surfacing over the last month or so that E3 might have exlcusive paid content for digital ‘on-demand’ game demos or other feature content. Typically, people were not happy (including, it’s rumoured, publishers). No more though. The event owners, the ESA (The Entertainment Software Association) have confirmed to VGC that “there will be no elements at E3 2021 that will be behind a paid-for pass or paywall,”.
So… there’s that. It is an interesting case in point. In a post covid world, will events like E3 still be a calendar feature? Do they need to find a new way to monetise? Given the popularity of online videos from Nintendo and Sony, not to mention how much cheaper they are to run, does E3 have a future without monetization?
Let us know your thoughts below.
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Rudy Manchego has been gaming since the days of the BBC Micro Computer and spreads himself thin with a love of retro, indie and mainstream gaming. He’s one half of the Jambags Comedy Gaming podcast and likes nothing better than kicking back with a nice pot of lapsang souchong, a good game and a background podcast on the intricacies of Spanish cheese making.