E3 officials have shot down the prospect of paid demos at the all-digital E3 2021, but the rumors of such a unique offering do make the mind wander.
E3 2021 will sadly not be a return to the LA Convention Center this summer due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, and concrete plans about E3’s digital replacement are hard to come by. One possibility that was in consideration behind the scenes was to charge admission to the public for a digital event. This theoretical premium offering would have included demos streamed over the Internet straight to the paying public. E3’s official social media has quashed any rumors about a paid offering, but it does make one wonder. So, are there any games with enough hype to justify paying for advertising? Perhaps just a few.s
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While the prospect of playing a game before its release date is always tempting, no ordinary release would really draw enough interest to make a prospective E3 payment plan make sense. Sure, a selection of indie games would be nice, but nothing like that would counteract the negative reaction to a premium E3. There has to be a blockbuster title in place to really move the needle and override that sentiment for a significant group of gamers. Without an announcement that drives people absolutely crazy, this plan wouldn’t work, as shown by the backlash over the E3 paywall rumors.
The game that immediately comes to mind in this scenario is Elden Ring, the new soulslike from FromSoftware and the creative mind of George R.R. Martin. After a brief teaser announcement in 2019, news about Elden Ring has gone completely silent, leaving Souls fans grasping at straws on forums across the web. A player base this enthusiastic about an upcoming release would certainly shell out an entry fee to play an early version of the next FromSoftware action game.
Possible AAA Games At E3 2021 That Could Be Worth The Price
Another highly anticipated release for a large group of players is Halo Infinite, a game that was supposed to release alongside the Xbox Series X this past fall. Microsoft chose to delay the game a year rather than release an unfinished product, so Halo fans have many more months of anticipation ahead of them. Halo Infinite is yet another game that players know precious little about. Outside of a brief gameplay demo and a few collections of screenshots, there are plenty of unknowns about Master Chief’s next adventure, and there are more than a few fans who would fork over the cash in order to fill in those blanks for themselves.
On the other side of the console race, Sony’s highly anticipated God of War sequel will likely make a big splash this summer as a follow-up to the 2018 series reboot. Kratos’ first journey on the PlayStation 5 is set to depict Ragnarök, the end of days in Norse mythology. An exclusive hands-on experience with this sequel would likely turn some heads and open some wallets, although it’s honestly not likely that Sony would work with E3 considering the company skipped out on 2019’s convention altogether.
While there are a few other games that might also do the trick, having a prospective premium tier of E3 2021 revolve around any of these three games would likely make it a success and override the negative voices against it. Thankfully, for that vocal sector of the gaming public, E3 has canceled any plans they might have had for such a setup. If there are any demos, they’ll be freely available just like the gaming samplers offered by Geoff Keighly’s Summer Game Fest and Steam’s upcoming Next Fest event. Even if it’s fun to speculate, this is probably for the best, especially if the folks behind E3 ever want to have an audience for an in-person event in the future.
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