It's safe to say 2020 was an interesting time for the video game industry and the rest of the world. E3, GDC, and other events were canceled as publishers and developers alike held a wide variety of different events, big and small.
Now we're in 2021 and not much has changed. Games are being delayed at a rapid pace and will continue to be delayed but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to look forward to. As such, we've put together a list of all the major gaming events that take place in 2021 — or have already taken place. This includes all virtual events as well as in-person events that may or may not occur.
Nintendo Direct - February 17
BlizzConline - February 19 - 20
PlayStation State of Play - February 25
GDC 2021 Showcase - March 15-19
GDC 2021 is being divided into a couple of different parts, with a showcase coming from March 15-19 that'll be free for all to access. It'll feature talks from professionals in multiple areas of the industry.
Summer Game Fest - Begins June 10
Summer Game Fest is returning for 2021! Host Geoff Keighley has confirmed that while this collection of events will be back, it won't be the sprawling three-month affair we had last year and will instead be contained to a single month. Keighley revealed that it's set to begin on June 10. It will be around 2 hours with 12+ premieres, according to Keighley.
Ubisoft Forward - June 12
Ubisoft is planning to hold another Ubisoft Forward on Saturday, June 12, the first day of E3. The event is set to begin at 12pm PT. The company has not announced any games or series expected to show up, though it teases announcements from its teams around the world. Could we see Splinter Cell finally show up? Maybe get a glimpse at the next Assassin's Creed? We'll find out soon.
E3 2021 - June 12-15
The ESA is currently planning some sort of digital E3 event for 2021. Major publishers involved include Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Capcom, Warner Bros. and more.
Steam Next Fest - June 16-22
The Steam Game Festival has rebranded to Steam Next Fest, which Valve says is to emphasize the focus on upcoming games. The company announced it'll take place this year on June 16-22.
GDC 2021 - July 19-23
The second part of GDC 2021 will be the traditional weeklong event held from July 19-23. This will also be when the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards will be held. The latter awards will be streamed online.
EA Play - July 22
EA Play isn't taking place around E3 like it has in the past. Electronic Arts announced that its show is set to return on July 22. Though we don't know what will be revealed, we do know that Battlefield 6 is set to be unveiled in June, so there's a good chance we'll see more footage of it in July.
Annapurna Interactive Showcase - July 29
Annapurna Interactive, the popular indie publisher, is holding its first ever showcase on July 29. There will be a lot of reveals and trailers from previously announced games like Skin Deep, Solar Ash, Stray, and others, but there will also be some new stuff for fans. The stream is kicking off at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET on the company's YouTube and Twitch channels.
The global pandemic changed how events in general were held in 2020 and those effects are still being felt today. A lot is in the air and a lot will likely changing in the months ahead, so we'll be keeping this updated with the latest on major gaming events.
Updated June 10, 2021: Added Annapurna Interactive Showcase to the schedule.