EA revealed its summer gaming event, EA Play, will return in 2020, but this time it will be presented entirely online. EA Play Live, as it’s called this year, will kick off on June 11 at 7 p.m. ET, where it will be streamed on EA’s website, Twitch, and YouTube.
EA says fans can expect “world premieres, news, and more,” though it didn’t add any more specifics. Still, it’s safe to assume at least a few annual sports simulators will make appearances on the virtual stage, such as Madden NFL, NHL, and FIFA. Other projects in the works under EA’s massive umbrella include a Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel, a second Star Wars game rumored to be code-named Project Maverick, and more sequels to two of its biggest franchises, Battlefield at DICE and Dragon Age at BioWare.
EA Play has been held annually since 2016, following the publisher’s move away from the E3 show floor in favor of hosting its own event the same week at the Hollywood Theater in Los Angeles. This will be the first EA Play show to not feature a live audience to help fans, creators, and journalists stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
EA is just the latest E3 attendee to shift to a digital event following the Entertainment Software Association’s cancellation of E3 2020. Sony backed out of E3 even before the pandemic, though the company promised it will remain active this summer as it approaches the launch of the PlayStation 5 this fall. Microsoft announced an Inside Xbox stream, which takes place on May 7, with a look at next-gen third-party games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg hinted that there’s more to come this summer, as well. Bethesda, meanwhile, stated it will not hold a digital showcase in place of its typical E3 conference. It remains to be seen what companies such as Nintendo, Ubisoft, and Square Enix do, though the options seem limited to a digital show or nothing.
Many of the scheduled summer gaming events filling the E3 void will fall under the Summer Games Fest banner, a new initiative led by The Game Awards’ Geoff Keighley to keep the hype machine moving in a year without major gaming expos.