Both E3 and not-E3 are approaching fast, and while it’s not quite as big of a mess as it was last year, there’s still a heck of a lot of individual events to keep track of. Now that specific dates are starting to be locked in, we’re getting a better picture of what to expect from this summer’s lineup of game announcements.
Don’t expect 2021 to quite return us to the single-week E3 of old, but there’s been a concentrated effort among the folks hosting this year’s summer game announcements to condense things into a tighter – and hopefully more exciting – block of events, mostly happening in June. But there are some other notable happenings in the months before and after.
We’re expecting a lot more detail on the full E3 schedule soon – after all, it’s just a couple of days away – but the coming months of announcements have already started to take shape. We’ve also left in the events that have come and gone in case you’re looking to see if you’ve missed something, or if it’s yet to happen.
Here’s the full list of events we know about so far:
June – Summer Game Fest
Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest took the reins when E3 disappeared in 2020, and it’ll still be with us in 2021, continuing after the Kick Off Live show on June 10. There will be publisher events and streams, and there’ll also be some sort of “playable content” as part of SGF.
The publishers involved with Summer Game Fest include 2K, Activision, Amazon Games, Annapurna Interactive, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Battlestate Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Capcom, Devolver Digital, Dotemu, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Finji, Frontier, Gearbox Publishing, Hi-Rez Studios, Inner Sloth, Koch Media, Mediatonic, MiHoYo, PlayStation, Psyonix, Raw Fury, Riot Games, Saber Interactive, Sega, Steam, Square Enix, Tribeca Festival, Tencent Games, Warner Bros. Games, Ubisoft, Wizards of the Coast, and Xbox.
JUNE 12 – GUERILLA COLLECTIVE 2 DAY Two
The second Guerrilla Collective Showcase will take place on Saturday, June 12 at 8am PDT / 11am EDT / 4pm BST, once again on Twitch. It will be followed by the next Wholesome Direct at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST, which will show off 75 adorable games for you to chill out with.
June 12 through 15 – E3 2021
E3 is a digital event running from Saturday, June 12 through Tuesday, June 15. It will feature both press conferences and a video stream running through all four days of the event.
The show’s digital experience, which will exist in both app and “online portal” form alongside all the more traditional daily streams, will let you explore a number of virtual exhibitor booths for events, video content, and articles from each publisher. On June 12, there’s a broadcast pre-show at 10am PDT that leads into the Ubisoft Forward pre-show at 11am. Speaking of…
June 12 – Ubisoft Forward
Before Ubisoft Forward, on June 12 at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT / 7pm BST, a one-hour pre-show will provide information on updates for games including For Honor, Trackmania, The Crew 2, Brawlhalla, and Watch Dogs Legion.
Ubisoft’s proper E3 showcase will take place on Saturday, June 12 at 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT / 8pm BST via YouTube and Twitch. The “next mainline entry in the Rainbow Six franchise” – the game we’ve been calling Quarantine or Parasite all this time – will be properly unveiled here. We’re also going to get more info on Far Cry 6 and Riders Republic, as well as info on upcoming updates for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Rainbow Six Siege.
Learn more about the subscription service you already subscribed to and a bunch of games that aren’t included in your subscription.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) June 12, 2021
June 12 – Devolver Digital Press conference
Devolver Digital has announced another E3 event, set to take place on June 12 at 1:30pm PDT / 4:30pm EDT / 9:30pm BST. Expect some combination of absurdist humour, extreme violence, and stylish games from small teams.
June 12 – Gearbox E3 Showcase
There will be a press conference from Gearbox on Saturday, June 12, at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT / 10pm BST. Besides developing the Borderlands series, Gearbox has also served as the publisher for the Homeworld series and games like Godfall and Risk of Rain 2.
JUNE 12 – Gamesbeat Session
On Saturday, June 12 at 2:45pm PDT / 5:45pm EDT / 10:45pm BST, we’re getting a session from the folks at GamesBeat. I have no idea what this is!
June 13 – 24 Entertainment’s Naraka Bladepoint
E3 has confirmed that we’re getting a wee segment dedicated to 24 Entertainment’s upcoming ninja battle royale Naraka: Bladepoint, set to broadcast at 9:30am PDT / 12:30pm EDT / 5:30pm BST. Naraka: Bladepoint held an open beta earlier this year, swiftly netting close to 100k concurrent players.
In celebration of our partnership, we’re proud to share the stage with @Xbox during the Xbox + Bethesda Games Showcase on June 13! We can’t wait to present updates on the games you love, offer a few surprises, and welcome even more players into the Bethesda family. #XboxBethesda https://t.co/4zEhDa8k2t
— Bethesda (@bethesda) May 26, 2021
June 13 – Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase
Microsoft is giving the newly-acquired Bethesda equal billing at this E3 with the join Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, set to broadcast on Sunday, June 13 at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST via Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
This 90-minute broadcast will feature news on the “epic gaming lineup” coming out of the Xbox and Bethesda partnership, news on new games and Xbox Game Pass additions, alongside “world premieres” and “a few surprises”.
June 13 – Square Enix Presents
Square Enix Presents will take place on Sunday, June 13 at 12:15pm PDT / 3:15pm EDT / 8:15pm BST via YouTube and Twitch. The publisher has confirmed the “world premiere of a new game from Eidos Montréal”, news on Platinum Games’ upcoming action title, Babylon’s Fall, and news on the Black Panther expansion for Avengers. There’s also going to be a “deep dive” on the upcoming Life is Strange sequel, True Colors, and news on the Life is Strange Remastered Collection.
Ahead of this showcase, Final Fantasy Origin – a Dark Souls-style prequel to the original FF developed by Nioh’s Team Ninja – hit the rumour mills and has been corroborated by some very reliable sources. Reports also suggest that the Eidos Montréal game is going to be a new take on Guardians of the Galaxy.
June 13 – Warner Bros. Games’ Back 4 Blood
You’re getting a focused look at upcoming game Black 4 Blood for half an hour at 2pm PDT / 5pm EDT / 10pm BST. The spiritual follow-up to Left 4 Dead was delayed earlier this year, but it’s still due to release in October. We’re not too sure what’ll be shown, though we recently caught a glimpse at the game’s cast of characters.
June 13 – The PC Gaming Show
The PC Gaming Show returns on June 13 at 2:30pm PDT / 5:30pm EDT / 10:30pm BST, and will provide news on – you guessed it – PC games. The fine folks over at PC Gamer have made this presentation a pretty exciting one for PC nerds over the years, and while we don’t yet know anything specific to event this year, last year’s event featured everything from the debut of eventual mega-hit Valheim to the surprise release announcement of Persona 4 Golden on Steam.
June 13 – The Future Games Show
The Future Games Show is hosted by GamesRadar, and it essentially serves as a sister broadcast to the PC Gaming Show – but one which includes announcements for games on console and mobile, in addition to PC. The show will broadcast at on Sunday, June 13 at 4pm PDT / 7pm EDT, or Monday, June 14 at 12am BST. 40 games will be featured during the show, including titles from publishers like Sega, Private Division, Team17, and XSEED games.
June 14 – “Presentations” from Take-Two, Capcom, and more
Monday, June 14 will be a day full of presentations from various publishers and indie developers. Info on shows with confirmed details follow, but this day will notably include some type of “presentation” from major publishers including Capcom and Take-Two Interactive. There will also be presentations from Mythical Games and Freedom Games.
Capcom has confirmed that it’s showing off The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, Monster Hunter Stories 2, Monster Hunter Rise, and Resident Evil Village.
June 14 – Limited Run Games showcase
Limited Run Games typically caters to the console collector market, but given the company’s occasional forays into big box PC tributes and its close relationship with indies like Wayforward, there might be something here for us PC nerds, too. You’ll be able to see the broadcast on Monday, June 14 at 1pm PDT / 4pm EDT / 9pm BST via Twitch.
June 14 – Razer Keynote
Yes, Razer – the gaming peripheral company – is getting into the E3 press conference business. The Razer Keynote will take place Monday, June 14 at 3pm PDT / 6pm EDT / 11pm BST. The company says in a press release that it will “share news about cutting-edge innovation and hardware that will support the best that PC gaming has to offer.”
🗓 Nintendo at #E32021: 6/15, 9am PT!
Tune in for a #NintendoDirect with roughly 40 minutes of info focused exclusively on #NintendoSwitch software, mostly releasing in 2021, followed by around 3 hours of gameplay in #NintendoTreehouseLive | E3 2021.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 2, 2021
June 15 – Nintendo Direct
I’m having a real rough time justifying this Nintendo write-up on a PC gaming site, but… hey, let’s not pretend we don’t all love our Switches. Nintendo Direct E3 2021 will broadcast on Tuesday, June 15 at 9am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5pm BST with 40 minutes of info on Switch games “mostly releasing in 2021”. Following the Direct, a Treehouse Live stream will feature “roughly three hours of deep dives” into some of the upcoming games.
June 15 – “Focused events” from Bandai Namco and more
Bandai Namco will have a “focused event” on Tuesday, June 15, but E3’s organisers are not clear on what that means. (Current rumours suggest that Elden Ring will be at Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live, if you’re wondering.) GameSpot and Chinese publisher Yooreka Games are also on the “focused event” train.
June 15 – E3 Awards Show
To conclude E3 proper, members of the the press at IGN, GameSpot, PC Gamer, and GamesRadar will highlight the ‘Most Anticipated’ game of E3 2021 overall, as well as the the ‘Most Anticipated’ game from every participating publisher and dev. Giving awards to games you hope are good sounds a little weird, but hey, we’re all in this E3 mess for the impossible promise of things that don’t fully exist yet, right?
June 16 through June 22 – Steam Next Fest
Steam Next Fest is the rebranded version of the Steam Game Festival, and it’ll be pretty similar in focus. There’ll be a pile of developer livestreams and “hundreds” of free game demos to enjoy throughout the six-day event.
June 24 – Windows reveal
Microsoft has announced a livestream for Thursday, June 24 at 8am PDT / 11am EDT / 4pm BST that will showcase “what’s next for Windows”. As The Verge reports, this is expected to be a major refresh for Microsoft’s OS, and while this is certainly more of a ‘PC’ than ‘gaming’ announcement when it comes to PC gaming, there are certain to be some big effects on how we play our computer games.
July 6 – Nacon Connect
Accessory maker and game publisher Nacon will showcase its upcoming wares in a YouTube and Twitch stream called Nacon Connect, set to broadcast on Tuesday, July 6 at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST. The company has already confirmed that Blood Bowl 3, Steelrising, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, and Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown will be shown as part of the broadcast.
July 17 – TennoCon 2021
The TennoCon 2021 date is set for Saturday, July 17, and as ever, the devs will use the event to reveal some of the big updates on the way to Warframe. The (all-digital) fan festival will also feature a load of community focused events, and there’ll be options to buy merch and in-game content while supporting the Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness.
EA Play Live is coming back July 22nd. Save the date! pic.twitter.com/qh9OOGhPTm
— Electronic Arts (@EA) May 11, 2021
JULY 22 – EA PLAY Live
Electronic Arts has announced that the 2021 edition of its own gaming showcase, EA Play Live, will be held on July 22 as a virtual event. While it’s not an official part of E3 as such, EA Play Live usually falls close by the ESA’s event, so it’s a bit of a surprise that it’ll instead come round over a month after E3 this year. There’s no news on what we can expect to see at the show yet, but we do have a nice ‘save the date’ tweet from EA instead.
August 24 – Gamescom 2021 Opening Night Live
We’re really stretching the idea of ‘E3’ here, but that’s been the way for several years now. European games show Gamescom has established its Geoff Keighley-hosted Opening Night Live event as a major part of the game news palooza every year, and while we don’t yet know anything specific that’ll be at the show this year, it’s a safe bet there’ll be enough major news and announcements to make this worth watching.
August 25 through August 29 – Gamescom 2021
After Opening Night Live, we have Gamescom itself. Contrary to earlier plans, the event’s organisers have confirmed that the conference will be digital-only this year. It remains to be seen how everything will be showcased here, but the show will now be free to access for all attendees.
October 16 – DC Fandome
It remains to be seen whether this will be a gaming event at all, but since last year’s DC FanDome featured early reveals for both Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights, it’s safe to expect updates on both games here ahead of their planned launches in 2022. The wildcard is the next game from NetherRealm Studios – based on the studio’s usual release cadence, that would be Injustice 3, and a big DC event would be the perfect place to unveil another superheroic fighting game.