The Entertainment Software Association, the organisers of E3 (who will be shortened to ESA onwards) denied the rumours about them putting parts of the online event behind a paywall.
The ESA said back in February that E3 2021 will be entirely digital due to the coronavirus global pandemic. The event will feature „multiple keynote sessions, an awards show, a preview night, and separate streams from individual publishers, influencers and others,” and during the week leading up to it, we will also see media previews and streamable demos. So there will be pre-shows similarly to conventional E3s, thus, for instance, we can expect Microsoft to showcase what Xbox Game Studios (Bethesda included!) are developing.
VGC first wrote based on multiple sources that the ESA might charge some money to gain access to a few parts of E3, but a „major games company” the site spoke to was against it and there was no 100% decision made at the time. The ESA then confirmed it on Twitter: „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,” possibly including participants and the like. Then, they also sent this short statement: „We can confirm that E3 2021 will be 100 per cent free for attendees and that there will be no elements at E3 2021 that will be behind a paywall.”
However, Andy Robinson, the editor-in-chief of VGC (who showed up in the news today, we didn’t plan it!), retaliated on Twitter: „Here’s some „real news.” VGC’s E3 story came from actual documentation and verified sources with knowledge of its plans. We don’t post nonsense and I wish The ESA had provided us with this statement ahead of publishing. Regardless, it’s a small detail in an extensive report.”
So the ESA might have decided to ditch the monetization after VGC has spilt the beans. This year’s E3 will run from June 15 to June 17.