This summer brings the biggest video game announcements of the year, with the world's top publishers partnering up with various conferences, talking about what's ahead for 2021 and beyond. It's all tied up in the Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, making a comeback this year as an all-digital affair. The online event brings various live shows to catch throughout June, shaping up as a must-watch for any video game fan.
E3 2021 has been reworked for the current world, with its organizer coordinating a virtual experience with the same heavyweight announcements we've come to expect. Xbox and Nintendo will host their respective showcases, bringing updates on their gaming consoles and in-house video games. Publishers and developers have also partnered with the E3 event, with Ubisoft and Square Enix among the big names hosting dedicated conferences. That's only a slice of the lineup, making for a week packed with world premieres and exclusive insights.
E3 2021 and other live shows this June look set to deliver the most important gaming event of the year. It comes only shortly following the launch of the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's newly launched Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. And while the past year saw many developers delay projects, adapting to working from home, E3 will pass the spotlight to those titles making their return.
While the main event includes many conferences scheduled from June 12 through June 15, that's not the only place for video game news. With only a select list of partners on the schedule, companies like Sony and Electronic Arts are expected to break away from E3 2021 but still presenting announcements through the summer season.
But with the E3 news already dropping, it can be hard to track what to watch and the biggest announcements along the way. We're keeping a schedule of all the must-watch presentations, plus the top news as it happens.
Live: The biggest E3 2021 announcements so far
With a packed weekend ahead, E3 2021 looks to serve up many of the biggest video game announcements of the year from the world's top publishers, developers, and platform holders. We're rounding up all the unmissable news in one place, day-by-day, as it happens.
Ubisoft Forward shows a varied new games lineup
Ubisoft hosted its live conference on Saturday, and as one of the top publishers attending E3 2021, it brought some major announcements for the first day of the show. The company showcased a varied lineup of titles, many scheduled for later this year, coupled with a tease of future-facing projects ongoing among its studios.
The Ubisoft Forward broadcast largely centered around titles launching later this year, including our first deep-dive into Rainbow Six Extraction, more information on Rider's Republic, and further insight into the narrative surrounding Far Cry 6. We also had some welcome surprises, which, while not ground-breaking, left us with plenty of news after its conclusion. You can check everything that happened in Ubisoft Forward with all the announcements in one place.
Rainbow Six Extraction sees gameplay debut
Rainbow Six Extraction, formerly announced as Rainbow Six Quarantine in 2019, made its return with a new gameplay deep-dive, cinematic trailer, and release date. The publisher positioned the title as a flagship title for later this year, currently targeting September 16 on console and PC.
The game puts a cooperative spin on the tactical shooter gameplay synonymous with Rainbow Six Siege, deploying players to fight those infected by an alien parasite sweeping the nation. The same playable Operators and gadgets return from its competitive predecessor, coupled with new toys to use across twelve missions. The game will also support cross-play from launch, working between all available platforms.
Rainbow Six Extraction preorders are now live, priced at $60, with a free upgrade to Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions, for previous generation consoles.
Rainbow Six Siege cross-play incoming
Rainbow Six Siege also returned for Ubisoft Forward, announcing full-fledged cross-play headed to the title over the coming year. While Ubisoft first detailed its cross-play plans to Windows Central in early 2020, the publisher has now outlined a formal roadmap. The rollout starts with PC and cloud services on June 30, with consoles set to join in early 2020.
Play as Vaas and other Far Cry villains
Far Cry 6 is getting a season pass at launch, with an unexpected expansion headed to the game. The latest trailer shows a new experience where players can play as Vaas from Far Cry 3, Pagan Min from Far Cry 4, and Joseph Seed from Far Cry 5. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is also returning, seemingly upgrade for the latest consoles. The conference also dropped a new trailer centered around Antón, the Far Cry 6 villain portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope revealed
Ubisoft also unveiled a new collaboration between Mario and Rabbids at E3 2021, with two trailers showing the return of the duo. While we didn't get much in terms of gameplay, it's an exciting new addition to the Ubisoft lineup.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora finally sees the light
Ubisoft's Massive Entertainment has released its first trailer for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, the previously teased Avatar project, headed exclusively to next-generation devices. From the same studio behind Tom Clancy's The Division, the title promises a new open-world built upon its Snowdrop engine, although with gameplay to come another time.
Koch Media Primetime flexes new Prime Matter label
Koch Media hosted its E3 showcase on Friday, following the announcement of its new publishing label "Prime Matter" at Summer Game Fest. The company, which includes Deep Silver, behind games like Metro, Dead Island, and Saint's Row, had various titles to show from its latest in-house brand. That included many anticipated projects over the years to come.
The biggest ongoing projects at Koch Media, including its top video game franchises, skipped the E3 show, focused on upcoming Prime Matter projects instead. The highlights included a new Painkiller, a revival of the first-person shooter franchise primarily untouched for a decade, an untitled horror experience, and a sci-fi shooter project current codenamed "Final Form." Payday 3, while on track for years ahead, also received a brief teaser and is set to be published by Prime Matter. You can check a full breakdown of upcoming Prime Matter titles through our extended coverage.
IGN Expo brings even more trailers and news
IGN Expo also wrapped the day with further announcements, with some welcome reveals from various publishers and developers. While the show didn't stow huge surprises, World War Z: Aftermath was unveiled, an upgraded version of the cooperative shooter, now with next-generation enhancements. Other bolstered games included Doki Doki Literature Club Plus, an expanded version of the visual novel, and DLC for Mortal Shell, titled The Virtuous Cycle. New trailers also debuted for Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One and Two Point Campus.
You can check the full roundup of the IGN Expo on the IGN website.
Summer Game Fest kicks off E3 2021
E3 2021 (sorta) kicked off today, with Summer Game Fest broadcasting a two-hour show, packed with announcements ahead of the main event. The live broadcast returned for its second outing, presented by Geoff Keighley, with various video game developers and publishers expected to take to the stage.
While many E3 2021 press conferences often center around individual firms and their respective release calendars, Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live delivered a broader celebration, from talent big and small. Game announcements and world premieres dominated the show, accompanied by live music performances and appearances from industry personalities.
We've rounded up the biggest announcements from the Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live show below, but you can check everything announced in our full roundup.
Elden Ring returns, release date included
The biggest E3 2021 appearance concluded the Summer Game Fest broadcast, dropping the gameplay reveal Elden Ring. The upcoming title from Dark Souls developer, FromSoftware, and co-written by George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame, returned with three minutes of new footage. It returns from a lengthy hiatus with a release date, now gunning for January 10, 2022. Our faith in humanity is restored.
Borderlands spin-off, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, debuts
Gearbox Entertainment unveiled Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, a new spin-off in the Borderlands series. The brief reveal trailer displayed the expected mix of action and humor, followed by a 2022 release window. We're hoping to learn more about the project throughout the week of E3.
Death Stranding Director's Cut unveiled
Revered video game developer, Hideo Kojima, joined the Summer Game Fest stage with a brief appearance, coupled with a traditionally cryptic trailer for Kojima Productions' next project, Death Stranding Director's Cut. The re-release comes "expanded and remastered," packing new content and upgraded for the PlayStation 5.
Call of Duty: Season Four drops June 17
Activision shared a brief overview of its fourth season for Call of Duty, bringing new multiplayer and zombies content for Black Ops Cold War and the arrival of satellites in Warzone's Verdansk. Season Four goes live on June 17.
Microsoft's future bets big on Xbox Cloud Gaming
Microsoft just outlined some huge announcements around its future Xbox strategy, detailing how Xbox Game Pass ties into its plans for its gaming efforts. That included expanded investment in cloud gaming, rolling out worldwide, and striving to target new devices and regions over the years to come.
Cloud gaming, an extension of Xbox Game Pass, expands to new devices moving forward. Microsoft announced ongoing discussions with TV manufacturers to include Xbox apps on the latest smart TVs. That would enable future TVs to stream Xbox titles over the internet without hooking up to an Xbox console. Microsoft also teased "streaming devices" in the pipeline, clearly alluding to an Xbox-branded streaming stick.
Xbox Game Studios, the creative pillar in Microsoft's gaming business, remains crucial to future success. The company stated it aims to release "one first-party game per quarter," maintaining a steady content output, following a string of studio acquisitions.
Battlefield 2042 revealed, launches October 22
Electronic Arts dominated the news on Wednesday, providing its first glimpse at the upcoming Battlefield game, launching on console and PC on October 22. The new entry, Battlefield 2042, returns to a near-future setting, shipping as an exclusively multiplayer experience, boasting expanded 128-player lobbies and larger maps. The publisher also opened Battlefield 2042 preorders, with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC versions costing $60, while upgraded Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 releases hit $70 for the base game.
Battlefield 2042 retains many of the defining traits as past Battlefield games, including large-scale battles, mixing military vehicles with standard infantry combat. While the initial reveal trailer didn't consist of gameplay, Electronic Arts provided press with a deeper dive ahead of the next showcase at the Xbox and Bethesda E3 briefing on June 13. Current announcements center around "all-out warfare," a term referring to classic modes like Conquest and Breakthrough, with a Hazard Mode zone to be detailed later, followed by a supplementary experience DICE's Los Angeles studio.
Battlefield 2042 could be a return to form for the shooter series, following the mixed reception faced with Battlefield V three years prior. The latest entry looks to be leaning further into defining franchise staples, described as "only in Battlefield" moments, tied to its large-scale warfare unmatched by many competitors. We expect to hear more on Battlefield on June 13, with more to follow at EA Play Live on July 22.
E3 2021 schedule: Every conference and live stream
With E3 2021 and the world's top publishers shifting to digital events, we'll see more showcases than ever, spread across several months this summer. Many publishers and developers have carved out dedicated slots to drop their announcements for the season, all available through live broadcasts on YouTube and Twitch.
While E3 2021 formally takes place from June 12 through June 15, companies have spread into the surrounding weeks, packing the month of June with showcases and presentations. We've rounded up the big events all in one place, coupled with their respective dates and start times so far.
|Event Date||Event||Start Time|
|June 5||Guerrilla Collective (Day 1)||11AM ET / 8AM PT
4PM BST / 5PM CEST
|June 9||Battlefield 2021 Reveal||10AM ET / 7AM PT
3PM BST / 4PM CEST
|June 10||Summer Game Fest Kickoff Live||2PM ET / 11AM PT
7PM BST / 8PM CEST
|June 11||Koch Primetime||3PM ET / 12PM PT
8PM BST / 9PM CEST
|June 11||IGN Expo||4PM ET / 1PM PT
9PM BST / 10PM CEST
|June 12||Guerrilla Collective (Day 2)||11AM ET / 8AM PT
4PM BST / 5PM CEST
|June 12||Ubisoft Forward||3PM ET / 12PM PT
8PM BST / 9PM CEST
|June 12||Gearbox Entertainment||5PM ET / 2PM PT
10PM BST / 11PM CEST
|June 12||Upload VR Showcase||6PM ET / 3PM PT
11PM BST / 12AM CEST
|June 13||Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase||1PM ET / 10AM PT
6PM BST / 7PM CEST
|June 13||Square Enix Presents||3.15 PM ET / 12.15 PM PT
8.15 PM BST / 9.15 PM CEST
|June 13||PC Gaming Show||5:30 PM ET / 2:30 PM PT
10:30 PM BST / 11:30 PM CEST
|June 13||Future Games Show||7PM ET / 4PM PT
12AM BST / 1AM CEST
|June 14||Capcom||5:30 PM ET / 2:30 PM PT
10:30 PM BST / 11:30 PM CEST
|June 15||Nintendo Direct||12PM ET / 9AM PT
5PM BST / 6PM CEST
|June 15||BANDAI NAMCO||5:25 PM ET / 2:25 PM PT
10:25 AM BST / 11:25 AM CEST
|July 22||EA Play||TBA|
While details on E3 2021 announcements have started to leak, as is the norm with many large events, we're still expecting major news and surprises over the week ahead. We'll continue to update this schedule as new details on conferences emerge.
Summer Game Fest Kickoff
Where: Summer Game Fest on YouTube, Summer Game Fest on Twitch
When: June 10 @ 2PM ET / 11AM PT / 7PM BST
Summer Game Fest, first established in lieu of E3 last year, returns with a wave of new video game announcements over the coming months. While the event captures the whole season of showcases, including a crossover with many E3 2021 conferences, the main event comes with a dedicated kick-off live stream, including news from third parties.
Unlike E3 2021 conferences hosted by game publishers, the Summer Game Fest Kickoff will serve a varied lineup of titles from developers across the globe. It'll be presented by Geoff Keighley, with video game premieres on the docket, coupled with musical performances throughout the afternoon.
Where: Koch Media on YouTube, Koch Media on Twitch
When: June 11 @ 3PM ET / 12PM PT / 8PM BST
Koch Media also looks to host its dedicated conference at E3 2021, with the publisher and its lineup of creative teams gearing up for a live show packed with announcements. The company, housing names like Deep Silver and Gaya Entertainment, is expected to drop news regarding its broad lineup of franchises on June 11.
Koch subsidiary Deep Silver brings various top game franchises, including Saints Row, Dead Island, Maneater, and Metro. While most of the showcase remains a mystery, we're hoping for the latest on the aforementioned series, including ongoing development on the fifth Saints Row entry and clarity around the absence of Dead Island 2 since its 2014 reveal. Other titles may include Chorus, Iron Harvest, King's Bounty II, and upcoming console releases of past PC hits.
We're not expecting huge updates around the future TimeSplitters game, with developer Free Radical Design only recently reforming for the project in early 2021. With development still in the early stages, we're not expecting much for at least a few years.
Where: IGN website, IGN on YouTube, IGN on Twitch
When: June 11 @ 4PM ET / 1PM PT / 9PM BST
IGN is slated to host its virtual show on June 11, hosted just ahead of E3 2021 and packed with game announcements and new gameplay debuts. IGN has promised "plenty of exclusive content" throughout the event. Although unlikely to drop huge industry-shaking news, we could catch an exclusive insight into upcoming titles, plus announcements across projects in development. Whereas IGN Expo saw multiple installments in 2020, this year's event is condensed into one singular show.
Guerrilla Collective (Day 2)
Where: Guerrilla Collective on YouTube, Guerrilla Collective on Twitch
When: June 12 @ 11AM ET / 8AM PT / 4PM BST
If indie games are your thing, don't miss out on Guerrilla Collective's dedicated games showcases throughout June. The digital show breaks away from the industry titans, and returns for its second showcase on June 12, packing another lineup of titles from its partnered developers and publishers. The show's format remains unchanged, only this time featuring more games and announcements that didn't fit the first installment. Titles that feature include Hello Neighbour 2, Ghostrunner, Sable, and many more upcoming indies.
Where: Ubisoft on YouTube, Ubisoft on Twitch
When: June 12 @ 3PM ET / 12PM PT / 6PM BST
Ubisoft Forward joins E3 2021, once again switching out the traditional conference for an entirely digital presence. The company is expected to detail its portfolio for 2021 and beyond, recently hit by various delays amid working-from-home and internal reshuffle. You can catch a full rundown on what we expect to see from Ubisoft Forward at E3 2021 in our full roundup.
We'll hear more on Far Cry 6, one of its most anticipated launches targeting a launch this year. We're also expecting the latest on Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Quarantine, reportedly renamed amid the ongoing global pandemic; massively multiplayer sports game Riders Republic; and the details on its new free-to-play project, Tom Clancy's The Division: Heartland. Ubisoft also has various projects brewing, now several years in the pipeline, which could return this June.
Where: GearboxOfficial on Twitch, Gearbox on YouTube
When: June 12, 5PM ET / 2PM PT / 10PM BST
Gearbox Entertainment, best known for Borderlands, leaves its mark with a dedicated E3 2021 presentation. While the company is yet to discuss its E3 plans, we expect to hear more on a previously teased new Borderlands entry, likely alluding to the rumored Tiny Tina spin-off. We're expecting the project to be unveiled on June 10 via Summer Game Fest, with more details expected at the full Gearbox show. We could hear more on current publishing deals too, including the previously-announced Homeworld 3 and Tribes of Midgard.
Upload VR Showcase
Where: UploadVR on Youtube, IGN on YouTube
When: June 12, 6PM ET / 3PM PT / 11PM BST
Every Quest and PSVR game announced at the Upload VR Showcase. The Upload VR Showcase has grown in subsequent years from a small show to the premiere way that VR developers and publishers debut their games. An official part of E3 and the IGN Summer of Gaming, the Upload VR Showcase is expected to debut several new games for every major VR platform, including the Oculus Quest family, PlayStation VR, and PC VR platforms like Steam and Oculus. A few developers have already teased content, including games like A Township Tale, After The Fall, Pistol Whip's next expansion, the next expansion from VR tabletop dungeon-crawler Demeo, and more announcements from developers like Vertigo Games, Resolution Games, and nDreams, to name a few.
Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase
Where: Xbox on YouTube, Xbox on Twitch
When: June 13 @ 1PM ET / 10AM PT / 6PM BST
Microsoft returns with another annual showcase this June, delivering the latest projects under the Xbox family and various third-party partners. The Xbox Games Showcase at E3 2021 stows the top announcements of the year for Xbox fans, likely focused on the best Xbox games headed to the latest Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, and its Xbox Game Pass subscription service.
E3 2021 could prove huge for Microsoft, following steady momentum into the newest console generation. It has titles like Halo Infinite, Age of Empires IV, Psychonauts 2, and the rumored Forza Horizon 5 headed to market later this year, all likely to receive public showings during the live show. Xbox Game Studios talent also works away on anticipated sequels, while reports suggest high-profile projects lie ahead for its publishing arm. Microsoft's bombshell Bethesda acquisition in 2020 also puts dozens of titles from its studios on the stage, including anticipated RPGs, Starfield, and The Elder Scrolls VI.
Our own Xbox editor, Jez Corden, and Miles Dompier have already published an extensive deep dive into what to expect from Microsoft's E3 2021 media briefing, packed with leaks and predictions. It's the first major public showing after a busy year for Microsoft, likely to stow a few surprises from internal studios and its partners too.
Square Enix Presents
Where: Square Enix on YouTube, Square Enix on Twitch
When: June 13 @ 3.15 PM ET / 12.15 PM PT / 8.15 PM BST
Square Enix is also expected to have a big showing this E3, carving out its dedicated slot in the schedule for a press conference. The publisher was among the last announcing plans, set for June 13, with an expected lineup of titles already in the wild. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy looks to be an anticipated new venture for Eidos-Montreal, a presumed single-player role-playing game set in the beloved universe. While Marvel's Avengers suffered poor reception, new updates continue to hit the title, with the new Black Panther: War For Wakanda DLC likely to show at E3.
Other highlights will include Babylon's Fall, the new project from Platinum Games, known for past releases like Bayonetta and NieR:Automata. While first unveiled in 2018 for PlayStation consoles and PC, we're expecting a long-awaited update this summer. Life Is Strange: True Colors will also feature, scheduled to launch in late 2021, while Final Fantasy Origin rumors circulate, pitching a "Souls-like" action game from Nioh and Ninja Gaiden developer Team Ninja.
Future Games Show
Where: GamesRadar on YouTube, GamesRadar on Twitch
When: June 13 @ 7PM ET / 4PM PT / 12AM BST
The Future Games Show returns for E3 2021, with the promise of over 40 multi-format games, coupled with exclusive gameplay debuts and insight from across the industry. Troy Baker and Laura Bailey will host the show, voices behind some of gaming's biggest icons, although details are scarce on which games to expect.
PC Gaming Show
Where: PC Gamer on YouTube, PCGamer on Twitch
When: June 13 @ 5:30 PM ET / 2:30 PM PT / 10:30 PM BST
While Nintendo and Microsoft each host respective conferences geared around their gaming platforms, PC gamers aren't left in the dark. The PC Gaming Show returns for another showcase this June, broadcasting news from various partners. Details on the latest PC Gaming Show will remain relatively scarce, but it could bring some unmissable announcements for those who favor the keyboard and mouse.
Where: Capcom on YouTube, Capcom on Twitch
When: June 14 @ 5:30 PM ET / 2:30 PM PT / 10:30 PM BST
Capcom has announced its lineup for E3 2021, with The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, Monster Hunter Stories 2, and Monster Hunter Rise all set to occupy the show. The publisher has also confirmed Resident Evil Village will feature, with many expecting the first DLC, building upon the acclaimed horror adventure launched earlier this year.
But that's not all we hope to see, with rumors of a Dragon's Dogma sequel continuing to circulate ahead of the show. We also hope to see more on Pragmata, the briefly-teased new IP, first debuted at Sony's debut PlayStation 5 showcase in 2020. While neither are confirmed, they're shaping up as likely surprises for the event.
Where: Bandai Namco Entertainment on YouTube, BANDAINAMCOUS on Twitch
When: June 15 @ 5:25 PM ET / 2:25 PM PT / 10:25 AM BST
While Bandai Namco Entertainment has a diverse portfolio headed into E3 2021, the focus sits with Elden Ring. The anticipated new IP first appeared in 2019, developed by Dark Souls creators FromSoftware, and written with aid from George R. R. Martin. This year, many hope for its return sometime, likely providing a new trailer or a potential glimpse at gameplay. Other big titles to watch include Tales of Arise and Scarlet Nexus, both expected to release in 2021.
EA Play Live
When: July 22, TBA
While Electronic Arts won't be skipping E3 2021 entirely, its main EA Play Live event kicks off one month later in July. With the next Battlefield game scheduled for an unveiling on June 9, EA Play should provide more context around the game and improvements made for the sequel. Other Electronic Arts sports titles, likely to skip E3 2021, could debut at this conference.